Wolfgang Weingart was born in 1941, in Germany, the only child of two doctors. His parents often traveled and were later divorced. Weingart learned independence and self-sufficiency early in life.

He was trained as a lead typesetter, with virtually no formal design training. He was an apprentice for three years in Stuttgart for a small printer, and then went to the School of Design in Basel, Switzerland, after a chance meeting with Armin Hofmann in 1963. Weingart entered the school as a student but remained somewhat of an outside observer, and left after a very short time. Hofmann, however, had already seen Weingart's potential and asked him to become a teacher at the school. Weingart began teaching at Basel in 1968.

He designed covers for the monthly periodical Typographische Monatsblatter, in 1972 and 1973. The goal of these covers was to "challenge design ideology." Weingart gave a lecture tour in the US in 1972 and 1973. The lecture was titled, How can one make Swiss Typography? The book Projects was published in 1980, which discussed "typographic research at the School of Design, Basel, Switzerland." It contained the work of two students, James Faris and Gregory Vines, with an introduction by Armin Hofmann. Weingart taught in the Yale University Summer program in Graphic Design, in Brissago, Switzerland. He founded the periodicals TM/communication and Typographic process.

Weingart has never done a large amount of commercial work, but is a dedicated full-time teacher. He does personal projects, posters for art exhibitions and government projects. He has recieved awards from the Swiss government for his posters and book covers. Weingart has recently published a 500-page book, Typography, which is a comprehensive discussion of his philosophy and work.