Joseph Churchward

Joseph Churchward

Joseph Churchward, typography designer

Joseph Churchward (1932-2013) was one of the world’s most productive typesetters in his lifetime, having handcrafted more than 600 original typefaces.

Born in Apia in 1933, Joseph came to New Zealand in his early teens and attended the Wellington Technical College, completing an Art Distinction Award in lettering in 1948.

Joseph established Churchward International Typefaces in 1969 and this was at one point New Zealand’s largest typesetting firm. With international clients such as Germany’s Berthold Fototype, Mecanorma-Polyvroom, and D.Stempel, Dr Böger Photosatz Linotype and Zipatone, Churchward Typefaces were soon in use around the globe.

Even in his late 70s Joseph continued to design typefaces by hand, and these are digitally distributed via In 2009 Joseph was the recipient of the Designers’ Institute of New Zealand John Britten Award for lifetime achievement and in 2010 he received the Queens Services medal.

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Toi Rauwhārangi
College of Creative Arts
Wellington, Aotearoa