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ATYPICAL

Letters alive! A homage to Hermann Zapf

Zapfino Extra Four

y

y

Zapfino Extra Alternate

y

In the designer’s own words: “When the Egyptian civilization created hieroglyphics, mankind broke new ground: images became script, delivering a message, and imparting the knowledge of a culture onward. Nowadays our scripts consist of abstract letters that have no pictorial meaning at all. We are still looking for new directions. This time, I proceeded the other way around: from script to image. The message of this approach is the aesthetics of letters themselves. At the fh Wiesbaden, under the direction of Prof. Guido Ludes, we began experimenting abstractly with letterforms. Normally, one takes script for granted; we do not reflect on its components. However, what characterizes script, with all its immanent character and its features, is the result of long lasting, skillful, and detailed development. In this collection of typographic images I would like to redirect your attention to the elementary particles of our script. One should not forget that each letter is a little work of art, perfect in form as well as harmonious with itself and its environment. Here we can see how diversified typography can be.” Text set in Optima™ nova light condensed and light italic, 10.5 pt.

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Zapfino Extra Three

In this surprising experiment, Anke Hörteis, a graphic designer from Wiesbaden, Germany, brings new life to letters from the Zapfino typeface, designed by Hermann Zapf. As part of her graduate thesis, she applied a systematic and reflective process to letterforms; the result was an intriguing collection of insect images. In these newfound forms, the original shapes of the letters remained untouched—nothing has been cut off or skewed (but sometimes the characters are only discernable after a closer look).


o

n

Zapfino Extra Two

h

Zapfino Extra One

g

Zapfino Extra One

g

Zapfino Extra One

u

Zapfino Extra Four

u

Zapfino Extra One

a

Zapfino Extra Two

v

Zapfino Extra Three

w

Zapfino Extra Two

l

Zapfino Extra One

b

Zapfino Extra One

b

Zapfino Extra Three

Zapfino Extra One

h

Zapfino Extra Alternate

Zapfino Extra Alternate

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s


Zapfino Extra Alternate

k

Zapfino Extra Three

k

Zapfino Extra One

h

Zapfino Extra Two

o

Zapfino Extra Two

o

Zapfino Extra One

h

Zapfino Extra Two

m

Zapfino Extra Four

x

Zapfino Extra One

h

Zapfino Extra Two

m

Zapfino Extra One

h

Zapfino Extra Alternate

t

Zapfino Extra Two

h

Zapfino Extra Four

z

Zapfino Extra One

p

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THE OLD

& THE NEW LINOTYPE MATRIX

LINOTYPE MATR IX

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The Linotype Matrix was a quarterly newssheet

produced by Linotype and Machinery Ltd. from the 1930s through the 1960s. The publication carried information about Linotype products, and the printing trade, but also included several articles on type and typography. As such, it was a platform were new types were portrayed, and the journal often followed up with success stories of Linotype originals. The Linotype Matrix was published in three volumes all in all, and today, it offers a wonderful

Text set in Glypha™ thin, 10 pt.

5 LINOTYPE MATR IX

insight into the development of typography in the mid–twentieth century. A witness to the evolution from metal type to photo composition, it serves as a valuable aid to all students of typography. Almost 50 years after the last issue, volume 4 of the Linotype Matrix returns, this time in magazine format. Rich in content and graphics, the new look takes into consideration the reading habits and design trends of today. But the purpose is still the same: to showcase the hidden gems of the Linotype Library, and to provide a platform for design discourse and typographic expression.


CREATIVE TYPE A SOURCEBOOK OF CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY LETTERFORMS WRITTEN AND DESIGNED BY CEES W. DE JONG. Published by Thames & Hudson, London, New york, 2005.

THE DIGITAL ERA has entirely transformed the world of typography, and the past twenty or so years have witnessed breathtaking advances in the field. This elegant and easy-to-use book provides a comprehensively illustrated record of these developments, clearly setting them in their historical context, and forming an essencial reference for graphic designers everywhere. CREATIVE TYPE begins with three essays addressing such issues as the impact of the digital era on typography and the ways in which contemporary designers are harnessing the typefaces of the past to satisfy the needs of the present. The book goes on to illustrate thirty-four modern classic typefaces produced between 1985 and 2004, accompanied by comments from each font’s designer. Among them: Avenir Next and Frutiger Next, by Adrian Frutiger; Scarborough and Silvermoon, by Akira Kobayashi; Finnegan, by Jürgen Weltin; Sho, by Karlgeorg Hoefer; Zapfino and Optima nova by Hermann Zapf.

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ILLUSTRATIONS show the typefaces in use, sketches by the designers, first proofs, posters samples and whole type families. The book also highlights the significant relationship between classic and contemporary typography. Text set in Veto™ light, 10pt.


BO O K RE V IE W

OPPOSITE TOP: a preliminary sketch from ITC Scarborough, by Akira Kobayashi. The typeface was designed in 1998 and is reminiscent of the typefaces used in advertisements of the 1930s. But Akira mixed his own handwriting to create this slightly slanted display face, with many letterforms. OPPOSITE BOTTOM: the city of Amsterdam

was the first metropolis to fully adopt Avenir, thereby winning the coveted Dutch Corporate Identity Prize in 2003. RIGHT: two pages from Bodonischriften, D. Stempel AG, c.1932. BELOW: Marco Ganz, sculptor and type

designer, created these intriguing pieces for exhibition. Pure color and form!

ABOVE RIGHT: Markin typeface, created by Alfred Tilp, with design by Manfred Baierl. ABOVE LEFT: poster with Spitz, typeface designed by Olivier Brentzel. BELOW: the typeface Atomatic, by Johannes Plass, in the Mutabor magazine.

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DAS TYPOGRAFISCHE KARTENSPIEL - Germany, unknown manufacturer, 1978. Created by Manfred Kronenberg (b. 1953), each suit of this

P L A Y I N G MoMA - Austria, Piatnik, 1993. An arts graduate in his native country and in the United States (UCLA), the Japanese artist Takenobu Igarashi (b. 1944) designed several products for the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA). Two decks of cards were made, the first printed in 1986, and both avoiding traditional concepts. In the second version, shown here, printed in 1993, Igarashi gives movement to the characters and suits that identify each card.

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LOW VISION - Brazil, Copag, c.2000. Helping with card identification for people with visual deficiency has been “a politically correct” attitude by manufacturers of conventional playing cards. At the extreme end, decks of cards are made with characters in Braille. This example does not go so far, but the raised values of each card have large indexes, set in condensed slab serif type.

L E T T E R


deck of cards shows a different type style, with its own design structure. Also, colors are distinct for each suit.

P

&

N U M B E R S

laying cards have been popularly used objects throughout many centuries. Little is known about their origin. Contemporary research shows that European playing cards, currently used in games like poker, bridge or canasta, appeared at the end of the fourteenth century, right at the peak of the Middle Ages. They were inspired by a pack of cards used by Mamluks, a group of elite slaves (Turkish, mostly), members of the Egyptian army, who ended up gaining power in Egypt in 1250, overthrowing the Ayyubid dynasty which had governed the country up to that time. This was a game of war with four players based on a type of chess of Indian origin called Chaturanga. Different groups of symbols were used to identify the different suit systems in various European countries. In Italy, the concept is very close to the Mamluk cards. On the Iberian peninsula there were the same four symbols used in Italy – swords, batons, coins and goblets – and they show less complicated designs, facilitating the identification of each card. Germany and Switzerland, with similar suit systems, use hearts or shields, leaves or flowers, acorns and hawkbells as symbols. It is possible to speculate about the extent that playing cards arrived at each new region of Europe, the manufacturers sought to simplify the representation of suits, following an evolution that thus facilitated both the identification of cards and manufactures. France, one of the latest regions where new game tool arrived, simplified suits to the monochromatic, abstract

and simple symbols that are currently popular throughout the whole world. This innovation helped manufacturers to meet the increasing demand for playing cards, and they started to use large scale reproduction methods like woodcut engraving and, later, metal engraving and lithography. Until the middle of the nineteenth century, the identification of a card depended on seeing the whole card. At this time, two major advances of graphic design were introduced. First, cards started to be double-headed, allowing them to be identified irrespective of which side up they were held. The second innovation was the introduction of the values and suits in the corners of the cards (called indexes), which allowed for identifying them without having to see the whole card. The choice of suitable types for easy card differentiation thus started receiving special attention by designers of modern decks of cards. Experimental designs in special editions, produced as advertising gifts or as an original graphic item of an authorial nature normally avoid the standard patterns of the industrialized playing cards. Innovations in the court card designs and freedom in the arrangement of visual elements is accompanied by likewise individualized choices in numbers and letters. Integration between images and characters is symbiotic and often assumes an eminently pictorial nature, doing without illustrations and providing expression beyond symbolic functions. Text by Claudio Décourt, president of the International Playing Card Society. The cards shown in this article belong to the private collection of Jose Luiz Pagliari.

Text set in Optima™ nova and Optima™ nova condensed, 11 pt.

9 LINOTYPE MATRIX

E R S


CLAUDE WEISBUCH (left) - France, Grimaud (France Cartes), 1997. The Frenchman Claude Weisbuch (b.1927) is renowned for his works as designer and engraver, especially for his lithographs. Being inspired by the most popular standard French playing card pattern, he made this deck of cards with letters, numbers and suits drawn by hand. The aces are shown on pedestals. TRAINING FOR TYPOGRAPHERS (below) France, François-Henri Cadine, c. 1780. Despite being manufactured for use in playing card games by an important Parisian manufacturer at the end of the eighteenth century, this deck of cards has had different uses. Paper quality and the characteristic of not having back designs at the time allowed words, symbols and small phrases to be printed on the back as training for typographers.

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LUXUS-JASSKARTE N0. 41 (right) Switzerland, Johannes Müller & Co., 1921. Designed by Arnold Oechslin (1885-1960) in Switzerland, and printed with color lithography. It is based on the national pack used for the game of Jass. The “König” (King) is depicted as stern, sitting on a throne. The lettering follows an Art Nouveau model. SOUTH SEA BUBBLE (far right) England, facsimile edition by Harry Margary, 1972. The “Stock-jobbing Cards”, or “the Humours of Change Alley” deals with the financial scene in London in 1720, satirizing financial speculation of that time. Originally engraved in copper, Thomas Bowles published them that same year. A miniature standard card in the left upper corner of each card indicates value. There is a main illustration, with captions in rhyming verses under it. Balloons were used to display the dialog of the people illustrated on the cards.


THE ART OF ERTÉ - Belgium, Carta Mundi, 1983. A famous illustrator and theatrical designer, the Russian, Romain de Tirtoff (18921990), adopted the pseudonym Erté. He was the exclusive illustrator for the magazine Harper’s Bazaar from 1924 to 1937. This deck shows, in numeral cards, stylized figures posing in the form of the number that identifies each card. These drawings were originally created by Erté in 1968, and show fantastic female figures. He also drew all of the numbers and indexes.

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COPAG CARTON NO. 1039 (right) - Brazil, Copag, c.1940. The carton is shown for one of the most popular product at the beginning of the 1940’s of Copag, currently the main manufacturer of playing cards in Brazil, and it is starting to be known internationally. The elaborate packaging design required the use of curved texts or those with nonstandard alignments. Since there were few typographical resources at the time, the characters needed to be hand drawn. HISTORIC ART POSTER (below) - England, London Transport Museum, 1990s. Featuring a collection of 53 classic images from posters advertising the London Underground: the illustrations on the cards shown below were made by J.H.Dowd, 1926 (Six of Diamonds), Charles Paine, 1921 (King of Hearts) and Alfred France, 1911 (Three of Diamonds). Not all the posters were set in Johnston’s Underground type.

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FROM THE COPAG COLLECTION.COURTESY OF PRISCILA FARIAS.

HERMÈS (top) - France, Draegers Frères, 1948. A. M. Cassandre (1901-1968), born in Ukraine as Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron, is one of the most important graphic artists of the twentieth century. He is recognized as the author of posters that are part of the history of graphic design – such as the one for the transatlantic ship Normandie and for Dubonnet quinine wine. His skill as type designer is evident in the classic typefaces, Bifur and Peignot, for the Deberny & Peignot typefoundry. Working in France and the United States, this deck of cards made for the Hermès house is his, and there are four known editions. The first is shown here and it is the only one to keep the indexes originally created by Cassandre. Thus, one can see his mastery as illustrator and letterer.


SAVADOR DALI (top) - France, Draeger Frères, c. 1967. Based on the regional Paris standard pattern, the Catalan artist, Salvador Dali (1904-1989) did not abandon the typical graphic style of his works with this deck of cards: unmistakable details, such as the famous melted clocks, are presented. COUPLES AND HAPPY FAMILIES (left) - Brazil, Juliana Kuperman (edition), 2004. Without losing the characteristics of the conventional 52 card decks, this creation by Juliana Kuperman is also structured for other card games like Black Peter and the Happy Families. The deck of cards, produced as a limited edition, was a graduation project at the Architecture and Urbanism College at São Paulo University. The basic graphic design is by Juliana herself. She uses type, photos, and illustrations in distinct styles. The Ace of Hearts on the left (set in Zapfino Extra One) was designed by Sara Goldschmit and the Five of Clubs (set in Bodoni) was designed by Celso Longo. I TAROCCHI DI GAMBEDOTTI (left) - Italy, Pruili & Verlucca, 1986. Kitchen and food instruments permeate the elements of these tarot cards drawn for the “Club of la Buona Carta”. The design is by graphic artist and Italian theatrical designer Mario Gambedotti (b.1936), who more than lived up to the traditions of his native city (Urbino) in illustrative arts.

Linotype Game Pi - French Cards

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DROWNING BY

NUMB3RS LIN OTYPE M ATRIX

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MAR

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MAIN

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CLA

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15 LINOTYPE MATRIX

TO N Y D E M A RC O

Numbers make up a second language, an international form of communication. They regulate time, distances and sizes, exchange relations, and gambling. They identify people and quantify things, and that’s all!


Linotype Zootype

TO NY DE MA R CO

8

1234 567 90

1

1234567890 Linotype Seven

LINOTYPE MATR IX

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Numbers of the book, Barcelona Grรกfica by America Sanchez (Editorial Gustavo Gili, Barcelona 2005).


1234567890

1234567890 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

0

Zapfino Forte One Frutiger Next italic Avenir Next heavy

0 Type drawers of Musée de l’Imprimerie in Lyon.

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17


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

Univers thin ultra condensed

2

3

1

4 8 56 7

90

Linotype Didot bold

The things that we list are essentially the same things, but not numerically.

LINOTYPE M ATRIX

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Numbers of Type Museum Markus Hanzer’s web site www.typemuseum.com

MA RI Z A M A IN IER I


1234567890 Versailles black

1234567 Linotype Humanistika

123456 Iridium italic

CLICIO

19

LINOTYPE MATRIX

Currencies cross oceans taking numbers on a long trip in time.


FAT FACES (

)

excerpt from “The Bold Idea: The use of Bold-looking Types in the Nineteenth Century, by Michael Twyman, published in the Journal of the Printing Historical Society nº 22, 1993.

(…) the need for bold type related to what might be described as the growth of non-linearity in graphic design, which reflected new ways of thinking about the design of texts. Such non-linearity must have been encouraged by awareness of the Descartian theory of co-ordinates, which led to the introduction of line graphs and bar charts in the last quarter of the eighteen century. Less obviously, non-linearity can be seen in the growth of typographic material (such as distance charts, synchronistic tables, catalogues, advertisements, and directories) that relied little if at all on the linear strategies of reading on which most writing and printing had hitherto depended.

Estate to be let notice, printed by John Soulby (Junior), Ulverston, 1822. The University of Reading. In advertising terms, Soulby (Junior) adopts a successfull approach, using fat face types from Bower & Bacon in Sheffield to draw attention to the two main lines of the copy.

(…) Taking their inspiration from the designers of lottery bills of the first decades of the nineteenth century, who used striking and often bold woodcut letters for the main lines of their copy, most British typefounders were issuing bold display types by the 1820s. The fat face was the earliest such type and can be found in British typefounders’ specimens by 1810.

LINOTYPE M ATRIX

20 Canon Expanded, nº1, Stephenson Blake & Co., Sheffield, c. 1876. St Bride Printing Library.


Five-Line pica nยบ 5, Thorowgood, 1821. St Bride Printing Library

Handbill, John Soulby Junior, Ulverston, 1833. The University of Reading.

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BODONI POSTER

ABCD

EFGHI IJKLM

NOPQ RSTU VWXY

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abcde fghijk lmnop

qrstu

vwxyz

LINOTYPE MATR IX

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12345 67890 12345 67890

(…) By the middle of the 1820s this approach to the use of bold type in advertising had become the norm all over Britain, and it remained the idiom for the letterpress poster well into the present century. Many posters which at first sight present themselves as stacatto, telegraphic messages that concentrate on a few key words will, on closer inspection, be seen to be composed of a series of conventional sentences. In other words, large bold type was used by the printer to override our normal reading strategies, thereby effectively changing the nature of a text. This point is made here because it is at its most obvious in posters; but it could be argued that this was the principal way in which bold types began to be used by nineteenth-century printers, whether they worked on a large or a small scale. Most of the bold-looking typefaces introduced by British typefounders in the first few decades of the nineteenth century were designed first and foremost for use on poster work. The stock in trade type of the first period of display typography was the fat face, which derived from the modern face and was produced by increasing the contrast between thick and thin strokes to such a degree that thick strokes in large sizes were sometimes almost half the height of the letters. It was an extremely effective design in larger sizes, and was presented with great panache in such sizes in specimen books, but in smaller sizes it lost its impact because the strong contrast between thicks and thins could not be retained without loosing the essential character of the letters.

left: Bodoni Poster, designed by Chauncey H. Griffith, 1929. Linotype Library. right: Woodtypes from a poster printed in letterpress from the Museum für Druckkunst collection, Leipzig.

Text set in Linotype Didot ™ roman, 12 pt.


Ligatures, from Thorowgood Fat Face, designed by Robert Thorne.

above: Sixteen Lines Condensed, and 14 Line Pica Italic, from Specimen of Printing Types, by Blake & Stephenson, 1842. St Bride Printing Library. left: Roman Extendend. First shown by George Nesbitt in his 1838 specimen. From the book American Woodtype 1828-1900 - Notes on the Evolution of Decorated and Large Types, by Rob Roy Kelly, New York, Van Nostrand Reihnhold Co. 1969. St. Bride Printing Library. below: Five Lines Condensed, from Specimen of Printing Types, Stephenson, Blake & Co., c.1856. St Bride Printing Library.

LINOTYPE MATR IX

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Have a new product or special offer? Do you want the whole world to get your message? If you were to take your pitch live to the street, you would either have to resort to shouting, or to big amplifiers and loudspeakers in order to get your point across. But what can you do if print, paper, posters, or billboards are your medium? You’ll need a typeface that is as BIG and BOLD as possible. This is where the fat boys from Linotype step in, offering up their expressive characters to help spread your news. Choose from our large selection? Each typeface has it’s own qualities and capabilities. Designing such a fat boy is a great challenge for type designers: one must think to persevere all of the characteristics of the typeface, while drawing just the right amount of black. Take a look at Linotype Library’s fat boys, and see the distinctive forms our skilled designers have worked out for you!

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Professor

Hermann

Zapf’s

N O VA

Palatino for the digital age: Whether Garamond, Baskerville or Bodoni, many of the typefaces produced during the 20th Century were revivals of centuries-old models. Not so of Palatino: Hermann Zapf’s new design is an interpretation of our own time. Designed between 1948 and 1950, Palatino was first released as in lead type form by the German typefoundry D. Stempel AG in Frankfurt, and quickly became one of the world’s most popular typefaces. Palatino was thereafter altered for use on the Linotype machine and in photo-type composition. Due to customer demand and the desire to keep designs similar across competing formats, the adaptations of Palatino for newer technologies maintained the compromises that had been made in previous generations and older media, even into the digital age. Palatino’s esteem has long required a comprehensive revision. The 2005 release of the Palatino nova type family from Linotype Library marks both a return to the original Palatino idea, and an extension of that idea into the future.


D. Stempel AG proof for Palatino Regular, early 1950s

Palatino nova Light

29 LINOTYPE MATRIX

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Giovanbattista Palatino, after whom the Palatino typefaces are named, was a writing master of the 16th century in Rome. His work inspired Hermann Zapf, although none of Hermann Zapf’s typefaces could be said to be literal revivals of Giovanbattista Palatino’s letters. Yet many of the characteristics of the Palatino typefaces, such as its open counterforms and overall legibility, are certainly themes that had previously inspired Renaissance lettering. The Palatino typefaces’ classical proportions place it within the great heritage of Roman types, yet it has an unmistakably specific style of its own.

Page from D. Stempel AG brochure illustrating the Palatino family, c. 1953.

Sistina proof, D. Stempel AG, 1950s.

LIN OTYPE M ATRIX

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At D. Stempel AG, the original Palatino Roman and Italic punches were cut by hand by the great punchcutter August Rosenberger. Just as August Rosenberger cut the original Palatino types by hand in metal, the Palatino nova type family was carefully drawn in digital format by Akira Kobayashi, Type Director at the Linotype Library. Palatino nova is part of Platinum Collection from Linotype, and is sure to be appreciated by type lovers the world over. But what exactly sets it apart from older incarnations, as well as from other typefaces? Aside from its revised form, Palatino nova can be applied to every imaginable typographic application. In addition to its extensive character set, encompassing all Western European, Eastern European, Greek, and Cyrillic glyphs, the new family contains two display weights (Palatino nova Titling and Palatino nova Imperial), the redesigned book face Aldus nova Book, and a complete sans serif branch—the faces of the Palatino Sans and Palatino Sans Informal families. Many of the fonts also include Small Caps,


Technological restraints have historically influenced the finished outcome of a type design. While Hermann Zapf’s drawings for the original Palatino were made with ink on paper, his types were cut by hand, and then machine, into metal. Later, the phototype masters were masked friskets. The outlines of the old Palatino still reflected these sharp traces of the knife, and their corners were sharp points. In close-up views of Palatino nova however, one can see that many corners have now been modeled: complex angular constructions smooth out these corners and terminals, making them more pleasing to the eye, as well as inherently more legible. Palatino nova’s serifs in general have been reconceived, on the whole they have been shortened, and they show more continuity. The ability to kern was limited with metal type. Some of the letters in previous Palatino versions—for instance the f or the j—always looked a little stunted due to the restrictions of hotmetal matrices. In Palatino nova, these characters have found their lyrical, calligraphic flow, which was always their intention. The italic faces are also much more harmonious: their letterforms bear more internal similarities with one another, many excess flares have been removed. Although Palatino has always been an all-purpose typeface, need for a special book face to service the publishing market Text set in Palatino™ nova regular, 10 pt

αβγδεζηθικλμ νξοπρσςτυφχψω � ΑΒΓΔΕΖΗΘΙΚΛ МΝΞΟΠΡΣΤΥΦΧΨΩ ΆΈΉΊΌΎΏΐ � ϐϑϕϰ ∑√+−±·×÷¬=≠≈~<>≤≥∞∫∏ ΑΒΓΔΕΖΗΘΙΚΛMΝ ΞΟΠΡΣΤΥΦΧΨΩ Greek characters, Palatino nova Regular and Palatino nova Titling Cyrillic characters, Palatino nova Regular

� АБВГДЕЖЗ ИЙКЛМНОПРСТУФ ХЦЧШЩЪЫЬЭЮЯ№� абвгдежзийклмнопрстуфхцч шщъыьэюяёґѓћіїјќѕўџђєљњ ЁҐЃЋІЇЈЌЅЎЏЂЄЉЊ ∑√+−±·×÷¬=≠≈~<>≤≥∞∫∏ Aldus nova Book

ABCDEFGHIJKL MNOPQRSTU VWXYZabcdefg hijklmnopqrstu vwxyz&1234567

31 LINOTYPE MATRIX

inferior and superior numerals, proportional and tabular Oldstyle figures, proportional and tabular lining figures, ordinals, superior lowercase letters, superior currency symbols, and mathematical symbols—all of which are easier than ever for designers to set, thanks to the new OpenType font format.


ABCDEFGHIJK LMNOPQRST UVWXYZ abcdefghijklmn opqrstuvwxyz 1234567890 Palatino Sans Ultra Light

Palatino Sans Regular

LINOTYPE MATR IX

32

ABCDEFGHIJK LMNOPQRST UVWXYZ abcdefghijklmn opqrstuvwxyz 1234567890

soon arose after the original faces emerged. Hermann Zapf drew special test sizes for this purpose, which D. Stempel AG first called Palatino Light, but whose name was later changed for marketing reasons to Aldus Book. Just as Palatino is not a revival of the work of Giovanbattista Palatino’s work, Aldus Book was not based on the types used by Aldus Manutius at the end of the fifteenth century. Rather, Aldus Book paid homage to the ideas of this master publisher. As a universal book face, Aldus Book was redeveloped along with Palatino nova. The new Aldus nova Book face has companion italic. For more emphasis, Palatino nova’s Medium or Bold should be used. Their open counters and perfect legibility, even when used in very small sizes, is due to their well-balanced, classic proportions. Aldus nova Book is slightly smaller than Palatino nova Roman. Its color is lighter, and its impression is a little more calligraphic. A softer variant, Aldus nova Book offers a warmer impression. Intended for use in smaller point sizes, certain elements in Aldus nova Book—such as the serifs on the middle stroke of the E—are treated differently than in Palatino nova Roman. All of these features work together to increase the legibility of the Aldus nova Book, making this classic book face more readable than ever in text. Also during the 1950s, a titling version of Palatino was produced. This had several alternate characters, and was designed for optimum legibility in larger point sizes. A Greek companion, named Phidias, was also created. Palatino nova Titling includes the characters of these classic titling faces in digital form. True to its roots, Palatino nova Titling’s extended character set includes alternate glyphs, ligatures, Small Caps, Oldstyle figures, superiors, inferiors, and Text set in Aldus™ nova book, 10 pt


The ratio of capital height to the thickness of the main strokes within the Palatino concept are 1:12 in Palatino nova Titling, 1:11 in Aldus nova Book, 1:9 in Palatino nova Roman, 1:7 in Palatino nova Imperial, and 1:5 in Palatino nova Bold.

Preview: Palatino Sans and Palatino Sans Informal The biggest surprises accompanying Palatino nova’s release are the upcoming Palatino Sans and Palatino Sans Informal families. After almost 70 years designing some of the world’s most wellknown serif and script typefaces, Hermann Zapf has applied his extensive knowledge to the sans serif genre. Like his landmark 1998 hit Zapfino, the exceptionally original Palatino Sans and Palatino Sans Informal are a fresh contribution to typography. Their distinct approach is groundbreaking: unlike most sans serif designs, which are inspired by the grotesque-style, the two Palatino Sans families are the result of a softer approach to the alphabet. Palatino Sans, and especially Palatino Sans Informal, feel more human than their traditional counterparts; their movements are organic, not constructed. How does such an experienced designer create something that is both entirely new and this awe-inspiring? The answer lies in Hermann Zapf’s experience. Interestingly enough, he had begun

sketching ideas for a similar sans serif in the 1970s. Although these ideas were not developed further at the time, Hermann Zapf continued pondering their possibilities over the next 30 years. After the success of the Optima nova project, Linotype Library suggested that he follow up with a Palatino super family. Beginning the project by revisiting his classic Palatino typefaces and his 1970s sketches, Hermann Zapf reworked them both. The fully developed Palatino Sans and Palatino Sans Informal families— two companions to Palatino nova— were born. The Palatino nova super family equips designers with unlimited possibilities—with so many related styles and weights, there is no design challenge that it cannot handle. Stay tuned to www.Linotype.com for more Palatino release information, and details on the intricacies of Palatino Sans and Palatino Sans Informal!

Page from D. Stempel AG brochure illustrating Michelangelo and Phidias Greek, now Palatino nova Titling, 1950’s

Akira Kobayashi and Prof. Hermann Zapf

33 LIN OTYPE MATR IX

ordinals. Palatino nova Titling may be accented with a heavier titling face, Palatino nova Imperial. The two all caps typefaces, Palatino nova Titling and Palatino nova Imperial, both have reduced character sets compared with the other Palatino nova faces. Originally this alphabet was designed as a metal typeface named Sistina, which was also cut by August Rosenberger.


On the shoulders of the

s

r

GIAN


& U se v

r

What a great challenge, to revive a revival!

Sabon is not an original design by Jan Tschichold, but more of a Garamond re-­­­ vival. One might ask: do we really need another Garamond? I would answer that all of them are not truly based on origi-­­­ nal letterforms by Claude Garamond, the master French punchcutter from the sixteenth century. Tschichold knew that Monotype Garamond, for example, was not a ‘true’ Garamond, but was adapted instead from Jean Jannon’s later variation of the Garamond style, as documented by Beatrice Warde in 1926—but that is an-­­­ other story. So, the design of Sabon Next was a double challenge: to try to discern Tschichold’s own wishes behind the let-­­­ terforms we know today, and how to in-­­­ terpret the complexity of a design made commonly for three completely different composition systems, Stempel, Linotype and Monotype? One aspect of the job was to rectify features affected by the technical limi-­­­ tations of previous composition tech-­­­ niques, such as Linotype hotmetal and various photocomposition systems pre-­­­ dating current digital typography. In the good old days, for many cases at Linotype and other foundries, the designer was not always personally involved in making the final artwork for production. The typefaces that appear in catalogues were often combinations of basic ideas and drawings from the designer mixed with the requirements of complex production methods. During the 1970s several people

c

NTS Jean François Porchez


Outline of the Sabon Next Display by Porchez.

a

Tschichold’s original drawing for his Sabon.

Stempel artwork for the handset version (14 pts and above sizes).

Sabon Stempel proofs.

Hmihgfëdçïü cbäœæutsrqp ö z y x w v l k j ck ch Tschichold drawing. ù A J I G F E D C B ß fl fi T S R Qu Q P K Porchez outline.

LINOTYPE M ATRIX

36

Stempel artwork for the Linotype–Monotype version (from 6 pts to 12 pts), basis of the first digital Sabon.

shared the task of making simultaneously the complete set of or friskets for a single weight of type, under the guidance of the art director and the production manager. Depending on the amount of interaction between the people involved in this pro-­­­ cess, it sometimes resulted in slightly different interpretations of the form principles in a typeface. The original Sabon sub-­­­ sequently suffered from such methods of producing typefaces and the time had come to correct some of its faults. When it was initially released in 1967, Sabon was described in Germany as a harmonized typeface, although, as John Dreyfus has commented: ‘Harmonized is not really le mot juste for Sabon. In unison would better describe this remarkable new venture.’ In fact, it seems that there were two versions of the original Sabon: the first, from which the previous digital version was made, was designed for use on Linotype and Monotype systems in sizes from 6 to 12 pt. The result was, considering the technical limita-­­­ tions that Tschichold had to deal with at the time, quite perfect. Compromises due to the Linotype duplexing system together with the 18-­­­unit width system of Monotype resulted in roman lowercase a and s that were too wide, and an italic that was gen-­­­ erally too wide; the Linotype hot-­­­metal system’s lack of kerning also resulted in constricted lowercase j, h and p. The second ver-­­­ sion of Sabon was designed by Tschichold for Stempel metal handsetting, for sizes of 14 pt and over, and it seems closer to a pure interpretation of Garamond without all the constraints described above. Sadly, when Linotype and Monotype adapted the design to their photocomposition systems, they did not fol-­­­ low the Stempel version. Compared to the Linotype-­­­Monotype version, the Stempel version is a real beauty for the eyes of ama-­­­ teurs, and naturally I started from this version to revive it. But it was not so easy. This version has its own limitations too, no-­­­ tably the short, top curve of lowercase f (maintained for consis-­­­ tency with the small-­­­size version) and also some minor width limitations. An early version of Tschichold’s design is shown in a proof from 1962, before the full extent of technical limitations had been imposed on him: this example, which came to my attention only at the end of the Sabon Next design process, con-­­­ firmed my assumptions. I always tried to take design decisions after a careful review of the official sources of the original Sabon. Tschichold claimed that he took the Egenolff-­­­Berner type specimen sheet as the model for his revival of Garamond. This specimen sheet (of mostly French types) was produced by a German typefoundry in the sixteenth century and so provided a good opportunity to give local roots to a new version of a Garamond commissioned

e

Sabon Next Regular.

Le Bé II punch.

Outline of the first digital Sabon.


a Double canon cut by Le Bé II following Garamond style, another source for Sabon.

& Text set in Sabon™ Next regular, 9 pt

figures in the Small Caps fonts are tabular, whereas the figures in Old style Figures fonts are correctly spaced for text composi-­­­ tion—the monetary symbols are designed accordingly in each case. Three versions of the euro symbol are provided: a standard tabular version, a smaller one for Old style Figures and Small Caps fonts, and a larger one in Alternates which better fits eec rules. The Alternates provide superiors and sets of figures to build fractions, and several ligatures. In Alternates we kept alive the short f, as an homage to the original versions of Sabon, along with all the disconnected f ligatures. In the italic Alternates we kept the straight short j and h with their ligatures. Finally, users of high-­­­end layout programs with OpenType functionality will appreciate the presence of ff, ffi and ffl for automatic ligature substitution, while users of more standard layout programs will experience only the usual fi and fl substitution. I like to imagine what Jan Tschichold and by extension, Claude Garamond and Guillaume Le Bé would think about this re-­­­ vival—I dream that they would probably follow similar design decisions faced with today’s less limited technical possibilities. Sabon Next was a really a passionate project for me, and a real pleasure to stand on the shoulders of such giants.

I hope that Sabon will now be appreciated not only because it is a Jan Tschichold design—free from any criticism of how Linotype/Monotype limitations restricted Tschichold’s first ideas—but also for the real quality of a good text face which has been renourished by the two sides of its roots.

37 LINOTYPE M ATRIX

initially by the German Master Printers. Yet the official mod-­­­ els that appear in this specimen, Saint Augustin and Parangon, were perhaps not the only models followed by Tschichold for the design of his Sabon. Considering that the enlargement of examples was a more difficult task in those days than it is for us with the digital facilities of today, was it perhaps easiest for him to partly follow a type that already existed in a much larger size? When you are in the process of a type revival, designing letter after letter, each day of your week, you feel the letterforms in a unique way; you are ‘in communion’ with the letterforms. During this unique moment, I realized that the Stempel proof made especially for the project did not have enough similarities with the Egenolff-­­­Berner specimen that I had in front of me. Then, I started some research and discovered that Tschichold had published an example of a roman in is his book Treasury of alphabets and lettering, ‘Lettres de deux points de Petit Canon by Guillaume II Le Bé’, which clearly demonstrated common ground with Tschichold’s version. The type was in fact cut by the senior Le Bé (Guillaume II’s father) who after Garamond’s death purchased most of his punches & matrices and later cut other sizes in the typical style of the master. Let’s take some examples: The dynamics of the curves of the capital C and G are common to both Le Bé and Sabon, but not present in the Egenolff-­­­Berner sheet. The Sabon tilde is really special and was probably inspired by the curly abbreviation mark over q in the specimen of Le Bé’s type shown by Tschichold. More generally the proportions and contrast of this type fit well with Sabon. So, following Le Bé and Garamond’s different examples, I decided to slightly correct the forms and proportions of the b, d, p, & q, as the Stempel Sabon showed some limitations in these ar-­­­ eas. Soon after, an exchange of e-­­­mails with James Mosley also helped me to confirm some of my thoughts. I asked him about the origin of some Garamond types and particularly those sizes we find on the Egenolff-­­­Berner sheet, and explained to him the reasons for my research. Straight away his answers showed that we had the same view on this question: ‘I’m sure Jan Tschichold looked at the Garamond Saint Augustin and Parangon on the Berner sheet, but it was far easier for him to take much of his design from the Le Bé types because they were bigger and easier to see ! As you say—certain special features show this clearly.’ After the complete redesign of the roman and italic based di-­­­ rectly on the Sabon Stempel version and the several Garamond models, I carefully improved the proportions on the vertical di-­­­ mension so as to match the existing digital Sabon. The result will be exactly the same x-­­­height for Sabon Next, slightly small-­­­ er capitals, and about 20% of width economy for both romans and italics. The initial weight, called now Display, would soon show some deficiencies in small text sizes, as with the previous digital Sabon, so we decided to keep it for text in bigger sizes and created a stronger Regular for smaller sizes. The objective was to provide two grades of roman weights to balance visually two different text sizes on a page (11 pt Display and 8 pt Regular for example). The new family needs to be larger in terms of elements to fit the contemporary demand, so we have designed more weights, up to Black. Experience shows that the intermediate weights pro-­­­ duced by interpolation appear better than those designed man-­­­ ually, particularly the bold weight, probably because it results in an exact equilibrium of black and white spaces, which would have been difficult for me to achieve. The family includes small caps for most of the weights and old style figures. The standard versions include revised lining figures designed a little smaller than capitals, but with a subtle differentiation in the height of some numerals somewhat like in old style figures. The old style


T

he idea to develop a new typeface tailored to the special requirements of annual reports was born out of the first heidelberg forum for annual reports, in 1998. The challenge was to provide a type system that delivered readability and multiple tonality while

aa aaaa a

Unity through Diversity the linotype compatil type system

maintaining harmony throughout the wide range of different characters required in an annual report. Linotype Library worked closely together with Professor Olaf Leu and his AnalyseTeam at the University of Applied Sciences, Mainz, who have been commissioned by Manager Magazin to judge its annual competition ‘Best Annual Reports’ since 1996. Reviewing work from 130 companies represented on six different stock markets, they made a number of observations over the years and raised several questions, particularly in regard to the legibility of the average annual report. Modelling an annual report in certain language and tonality essentially involves having a type system that can handle all eventualities. It must have multiple weights for emphasis as well as different styles for tone, voice and expression. It must have small caps to deal with the many acronyms, initials and uppercase characters required for product and company names, as well as the many styles of numbers that appear within the text. Most importantly it must have a structure that allows for the easy manipulation of figures. Development work on the Compatil type system took almost two years. It was a unique project requiring the perfect marriage of four different styles in multiple weights into a type system for variable use, across the whole media range.

LINOTYPE MATRIX

38

T

he need to be able to read and absorb information quickly has never been greater. On paper and on screen, reading with ease and speed is increasingly important. A typeface must enable legibility and typographically perfect text design. This is why the Compatil type system has been designed. We have experienced an explosive growth in the amount of information available to us and the amount that we have to read. Magazines, hundreds of pages thick; reams of documentation that we are expected to read at home; and the largest text-based medium of all—the millions of multi-sectioned websites and billions of emails exchanged daily. As readers we have to cut through the sheer quantity efficiently in order to assemble the information we need to make us effective communicators. The imperative to move from an information to a knowledge-based society has led to changes in thinking about how information is presented. Ease of reading is now the first priority of designers and typographers. The challenge is to reduce text matter to its essential clarity while retaining the essential visual rhythm and maintaining interest and distinction. Combining text clarity with creative diversity may at first seem to be mutually exclusive objectives. The answer, however, is in the concept on which Compatil is based—the notion of finding “unity through diversity.”

789 123 1234 34 456 45 5678 89 90 0 text set in compatil™ text, 10 pt.

text set in compatil™ fact, 10 pt.


Compatil Exquisit

Compatil Letter

Compatil Fact

Compatil Text

ccccc bb bb bb bb b cc

adapted from the book MANUALE TYPOGRAPHICUM, by hermann zapf, 1954. set in compatil exquisit, letter and text.

text set in compatil™ letter, 10 pt.

T

he Compatil type system consists of 4 weights, Regular, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic, in four styles. A total of 16 weights, all of which include small caps. It has been developed so designers can use typographic finesse to guide the reader’s eye and ensure that information is absorbed rapidly and easily. It combines aesthetics with maximum functionality. They exhibit the same stroke thickness across styles, have exactly the same proportions and combine perfectly to create optimum graphic layout solutions.

text set in compatil™ exquisit, 10 pt.

39 LINOTYPE MATRIX

T

he name compatil derives from the word ‘compatible’. All elements of the typeface—the aesthetics, legibility and font technology—have been combined into one modular type system, each component compatible with all the others. All shades of emphasis are possible, from delicate and slender, to bold and eye-catching. At the same time, the identical letterspacing make setting text technically simple while creating a consistent grey tone that is easy on the eye.


book setting

The ease of reading is achieved through pronounced changes in stroke thickness between the inner contour and outline over the course of the line. Also it is achieved by emphasizing the slanted axis for all rounded characters. the pronounced serif for ascenders facilitates fixation, and therefore legibility. As with all type, Compatil has an ambiance over and above its primary function. While readers are unaware of this, it contributes considerabily to making reading a more pleasurable and less tiring experience.

3.5 c o n t r a s t 3.5.1 Change one parameter at a time.

Contrast

When your text is set in 12 pt medium roman, it should not be necessary to set the heads or titles in 24 pt bold italic capitals. If boldface appeals to you, begin by trying the bold weight of the text face, u&lc, in the text size. As alternatives, try u&lc italic, or letterspaced small caps, or letterspaced full caps in the text weight and size. If you want a larger size, experiment first with a larger size of the text face, u&lc in the text weight. For a balanced page, the weight should decrease slightly, not increase, as the size increases. 3.5.2 Don’t clutter the foreground. When boldface is used to emphasize words, it is usually best to leave the punctuation in the background, which is to say, in the basic text font. It is the words, not the punctuation, that merit emphasis in a sequence such as the following: …on the islands of Lombok, Bali, Flores, Timor and Sulawesi, the same textiles…

NEWSPAPER

DESIGN

The objective with newspaper design is to ensure a dynamic exchange between the body text type and other types—headline, subhead, caption, etc. A newspaper type must be very stable and have a large x-height and open characters for fast reading. Both Compatil Letter and Text ensure balanced contrast between printed and unprinted areas, largely due to stroke thickness and contour of the various weights.

CREATIVE

But if the same names are emphasized by setting them in italic rather than in bold, there is no advantage in leaving the punctuation in roman. With italic text, italic punctuation normally gives better letterfit and thus looks less obstrusive: …on the islands of Lombok, Bali, Flores, Timor and Sulawesi, the same textiles… If spaced small caps are used for emphasis – changing the stature and form of the letters instead of their weight or slope, and thereby minimizing the surface disturbance on the page – the question of punctuation does not arise. The punctuation with small caps is (except for question and exclamation marks) usually the same as roman punctuation; it is only necessary to check it for accurate spacing: …on the islands of lombok, bali, flores, timor and sulawesi, the same textiles…

TYPOGRAPHY

The four different styles within the type system stimulate creativity and provide a wide variety of typographic expressions. They also are very suited to classical forms of typography, given the ability to select and mix all of the options, appropriate for magazine design.

60

the spread above was adapted from the book THE ELEMENTS OF TYPOGRAPHIC STYLE, by robert

LINOTYPE MATRIX

40 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ


compatil text

STRUCTURAL FORMS & DEVICES

4.1.1 Make the title page a symbol of the dignity and presence of the text. If the text has immense reserve and dignity, the title page should have these properties as well – and if the text devoid of dignity, the title page should in honesty be the same. Think of the blank page as alpine meadow, or as the purity of undifferentiated being. The typographer enters this space and must change it. The reader will enter it later, to see what the typographer has done. The underlying truth of the blank page must be infringed, but it must never altogether disappear – and whatever displaces it might well aim to be as lively and peaceful as it is. It is not enough, when building a title page, merely to unload some big, prefabricated letters into the center of the space, nor to dig a few holes in the silence with typographic heavy machinery and then move on. Big type, even huge type, can be beautiful and useful. But poise is usually far more important than size – and poise consists primarily of emptiness. Typographically, poise is made of white space. Many fine title pages consist of a modest line or two near the top, and a line or two near the bottom, with little or nothing more than taut, balanced white space in between.

4

compatil fact A sans serif in the style of American Gothic that is concise and functional. It combines the qualities of being objective and informative and comes across as sober and stable.

compatil letter

4.1.2 Don’t permit the titles to oppress the text In books, spaced capitals of the text size and weight are often perfectly adequate for titles. At the other extreme, there is a fine magazine design by Bradbury Thompson, in which the title, the single word boom, is set in gigantic bold condensed caps that fill the entire two-page spread. The text is set in a tall narrow column inside the stem of the big B. The title has swallowed the text – yet the text has been reborn, alive and talkative, like Jonah from the whale. Most unsuccessful attempts at titling fall between these two extremes, and their problem is often that the title throws its weight around, unbalancing and discoloring the page. If the title is set in a larger size than the text, it is often best to set it u&lc in a light

For examples of Thompsons’s work, see Bradbury Thompson, The Art of Graphic Design (1988).

61

bringhurst. hartley & marks publishers, vancouver, 2005. text set in compatil exquisit 9 pt

A slab serif that is both concise and stable. It gives the impression of being informative and poetic and is discriminating, balanced yet robust in character.

compatil exquisit Modeled on the classic Venetian style, the typeface is precise yet welcoming. It gives the feelings of poetic and narrative nature and possesses discriptive, distinguished and classic qualities.

X X X X

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

41 LINOTYPE MATR IX

4.1 o p e n i n g s

An old style face between transitional and modern face, with a semantic profile that is midway between narrative and objective. Its features are reserved, factual and authoritative.


from letf to right: Cover from BASF’s 2001 Annual Report, Germany. Design: Charles Barker GmbH, Frankfurt. Cover from SIG Holding Ltd.’s 2003 Annual Report, Switzerland. Design: W4, Neuenhof, Switzerland. Table of account from Dyckerhoff’s 2002 Annual Report, Germany. Design: Heisters & Partner Büro für Kommunikationsdesign, Mainz.

08 6 30 68 3 The forms of the numerals must differ enough to ensure that they can be distinguished from each other when set in columns, especially at small point sizes. On the left is a sans serif and on the right is Compatil Fact. The numerals 0 & 6 and 8 & 3 are critical as they can be easily mistaken for each other.

LINOTYPE MATR IX

42

perfect appearance Financial communication is at the heart of corporate communication. Numbers in the form of tables and columns, or integrated within text blocks represent a considerable challenge for typographers. Small capital numerals are important in financial reports because of the frequent occurence of dates and figures, which is why Compatil has small caps numerals with matching currency symbols. The key feature of this innovative type system is the ease with which the small caps numerals can be exchanged with capital numerals. When setting financial accounts, a designer must present numbers and text with the greatest possible clarity. It is also important that the numbers can be read quickly without error, yet are not too visually dominant. When design Compatil, particular importance was attached to developing the openess of the forms, specially with critical numerals like zero and six, three and eight.


compatil text

compatil letter

[1234€] (1234$) [1234€] (1234$) [1234€] (1234$) [1234€] (1234$)

[1234€] (1234$) [1234€] (1234$) [1234€] (1234$) [1234€] (1234$)

compatil fact

compatil exquisit

[1234€] (1234$) [1234€] (1234$) [1234€] (1234$) [1234€] (1234$)

[1234€] (1234$) [1234€] (1234$) [1234€] (1234$) [1234€] (1234$)

making numbers easier to read All of the numerals within the Compatil system have the same width, which means that for the first time it is possible interchange the weight and style without having to alter the letterspacing. They were designed to create the maximum difference between numerals that have similar structure, this increases the legibility in small sizes. Brackets and comparable punctuation marks have been finely tuned to each other. Disruptive factors such as pronounced descenders have been excluded. This gives the text image a peaceful and self-contined structure.

The display variants of Compatil provide options in setting of accounts that create the appearance of perfect harmony while remaining both functional and informative.

LIN OTYPE MATR IX

43


a new face for the city of design

LIN OTYPE M ATRIX

44


from Linotype

Gianotten Milano CittĂ to

A

s part of the visual identity that the INAREA design team created for the city of Milan, Antonio Pace designed a typeface for the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s logo, and letterhead for the various city offices. The starting point for the proportions and contrast was Gianotten Light, from which the lower serifs were removed and substituted by a rounded end.

LINOTYPE MATRIX

45


T

he word Milano is capable of transmitting an incredible amount of emotions: the capital of design, fashion, Italian lifestyle, etc. We decided to transform the word into their logo, and to create an entire typeface around it, aiming at a high level of recongnition for the subject. Even single elements of the typeface identify themselves as belonging to part of the whole identity system. Antonio Pace

LIN OTYPE M ATRIX

46 Text set in Linotype Gianotten™ light, 13 pt


ABCDEFGHIJKL MNOPQRSTUVW XYZabcdefghijkl mnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890 &(.,;:“”!?)@#£$¤

MQ

About Linotype

Gianotten That a large number of typefaces inspired by Giambattista Bodoni’s work had already been created over the past 20 years was not an obstacle for Antonio Pace when he decided to design Gianotten. Based on Lettura, and other weights from Bodoni’s Manuale Tipografico, he created a new digital face that successfully brings the great master’s essence into the 21st century. Gianotten is much more than a simple reproduction. According to expert opinion, the Gianotten typeface family, which took over five years to create, is the most successful digital interpretation of the classic Bodoni genre. Antonio Pace went back to Giambattista Bodoni’s original punches, kept in the Bodoni Museum in Parma, and reinterpreted the 200-year-old characters for the world of modern technology. Rigorous design and the organic, unadorned construction of the individual characters give the “new typeface family a contemporary, highly readable appearance. My Bodoni had to be created with the special requirements of today’s production processes in mind,” explains the designer Antonio Pace. Born in Italy, but living and working in Germany for over 20 years, he has the necessary intuition to reinterpret the Mediterranean classicistic typography of the original for the computer age. As Pace says: “Many problems with existing digital typefaces stem from the fact that they are adaptations of earlier proprietary processes and systems.” Previous Bodoni interpretations were not suited to body text, but Pace’s innovative work is meant for use as text fonts. In order to optimize the new type’s legibility, Antonio Pace’s lowercase letters are decidedly larger than the standard interpretations of Bodoni’s work. The hairlines and serifs have also been made thicker; the serifs themselves are shorter, and taper slightly outwards. The connections between the horizontal and vertical strokes are rounded. This tranquil overall effect of the type enhances its readability and makes Gianotten a very appealing face. So far, the family comprises six roman and five italic fonts, as well as a small caps font and nonlining figures. The weight of the fonts increases harmoniously in small gradations, allowing accentuation to be used in the text without distorting the typeface. Incidentally, the name “Gianotten” has nothing to do with Bodoni, but takes its inspiration from Henk W. J. Gianotten—the Dutchman who describes himself as a “type lover,” and has devoted nearly 40 years as a professional typographer to promoting quality typefaces. Antonio Pace and Linotype Library have chosen to honor his life’s work with this typeface.

Text set in Linotype Gianotten™ regular, 9 pt, 8 pt, 7 pt and 6 pt

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Milano Città


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The History of Linear Sans Serif Types, by Adrian Frutiger Much has been written about the evolution of type: how the forms of our letters took shape, from the roman capitals to the Carolingian minuscules, and how the Latin alphabet was then, essentially, finalized for eternity by the first printing presses of the Renaissance Age. Looking back from where we stand now, we could say that the original forms of our uppercase letters are around 2,000 years old, while those of our lowercase letters would be over 1,000 years old. And in the last 500 years, neither case has changed in its basic forms. But what has constantly changed are the outlines of the letters, influenced by new inventions in reproduction but also by the unique spirit of each epoch. Since the invention of sans serif typefaces over a century ago, many new stylistic forms have already emerged. In the following pages, we will attempt to explain the formal transformations which took place and provide a framework for understanding the development of this new form of type.

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With the invention of the printing press, a longing for formal refinement began to awaken. First leaning on the bold and distinct typography of incunabula, styles gradually progressed to culminate in the decorative classical fonts of the 17th and 18th centuries. This growing preoccupation with ever greater refinement was also reflected in the architecture of the times, as well as in objects of daily use, especially furniture. But also the fashionable attire worn by the upper classes of each epoch paid tribute to this development accordingly. The mutation At the dawn of the 19th century, the newly established Republic of France was still groping to come to terms with its new identityâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and as widespread industrialization set in, an intrinsic mutation began to take place in all external appearances. The search for a new look became a time-consuming quest eventually dragging into a decade-long struggle. This can be observed in the architecture of the early 19th century: on the one hand, there was a mixture of styles borrowing from numerous past eras, on the other hand, there was a clear will to find a new form of expression, inspired by the inventions of the time, like the railway and, later, the use of concrete as a building material (Fig. 1a and 1b). This confusion was also reflected in typography, which commonly applied an

incongruous melange of all previous typeface styles (Fig. 1c). The end of the line In order to better understand the transition from typefaces with serifs to those without, it is necessary to consider the deeper impression left behind by the appearance of a line. Every line which does not close in on itself has a beginning and an end. If such a line does not have fortified endings, the observer is left with the uneasy feeling that something is incomplete, the line could flow on forever. Just as an example, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s have a look at a crossâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; as not to be influenced by the accustomed appearance of a letter. A cross without line endings is primarily perceived as an abstract symbol with two converging lines in the middle. The length of the lines is undefined, the lines appear to be able to continue on forever. However, as soon as the lines are given graphic boundaries, the symbol is suddenly perceived as complete entity (Fig. 2). Such fortification of line endings has given rise to ever changing styles of decoration for ages, attributing to the cross a unique symbolism each time (Fig. 3). Looking at the evolution of the Latin alphabet, the first stroke endings can be found in the chiseling of Roman capitals. In calligraphy, the emphasis on the stroke beginning and ending


produced (Fig. 9). Later, when he developed Futura (1927), the stroke thickness was no longer consistent but a slight expansion and narrowing was allowed which helped the characters appear less peculiar. Only the letters a, g and t marked a clear departure from the classic forms. With regards to capital letters, the old style of applying different widths was reintroduced. It should be noted that the sans serif type designed by J. Erbar in 1922 already implemented a lowercase style (only in normal weights) from which Futura clearly drew inspiration. At about the same time as Futura, Rudolf Koch introduced Kabel (1927) which in its mode of expression for normal text passages could be considered the prototype of all sans serif types. The strokes are uncompromising in their consistent thickness and the curves are almost entirely purely circular in form. The stroke endings are strangely cropped, sometimes perpendicularly sometimes diagonally; a certain woodcutting style can be observed here which was quite typical of Koch.

The gray line Before considering the further development of sans serif types, it is important to remember that with the outbreak of World War II all stylistic progression in this field was essentially brought to a halt in Germany. In Switzerland, however, which was spared many of the horrors of the war, a creative fire continued to glimmer. During this period, there was a gradual departure from constructed typefaces like Futura and Erbar and a rediscovery of the old sans serif types from the end of the 19th century. Among other typefaces, typesetters dug up Standard Series (1898) and gave it a thorough facelift. And in 1943, the Haas foundry took the Moderne Grotesk, originally designed by Ludwig Wagner in 1912, reintroducing the type as Normal Grotesk. These old fonts were then subject to an innovative phase of experimentation at the design schools in Basel and Zurich, marked by a clear tendency towards asymmetry. Lines of type were treated like building elements which were used to harmoniously structure a page, thereby also defining the surrounding blank spaces (Fig. 10). The letters of a typeface, when placed in a row, were supposed to be able form a harmonious gray line The sans serif wave which could be used as a typographical building element – something which was not possible with To better understand the transformation of type- the irregularities of more constructed fonts. face forms, let’s cast a look back at the 1920s. At the beginning of the 1950s, when type Paul Renner was making his first attempts to foundries began to operate again, the actual create an alphabet exclusively with circles and work of creating new fonts in this style began. lines. But his experiments failed due to the un- Folio was designed by K. F. Bauer and W. Baum usual characters which his rigid concept of form (fig.11). They could draw on the experience of

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BEPS BEPS TMW T MW

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49 LINOTYPE MATRIX

is what characterized the stylistic appearance of the text (Fig. 4). Perhaps these stroke endings also had something to do with an unconscious searching for stability, as the lower serifs of incised fonts actually seem to be “standing” on an invisible line (Fig. 5). With respect to architectural developments, characters marked with serifs at their endings could easily be compared with the columns of almost any stylistic period. In former times, a column was always decorated with a base at the bottom and a capital at the top (Fig. 6 top). It was not until the birth of modernism that architects ventured to introduce a naked column, made of concrete. The fear that a line without boundaries might flow on forever gave way to a worldview defined by rationality—heralding the beginning of widespread use of sans serif typefaces (Fig. 6 bottom). The first sans serif font appeared in 1816 in a type sample book by William Caslon (Fig. 7). This new typeface caught on quickly and began to appear all over Europe and the U.S. under the names “Grotesque” and “Sans Serif”. Soon, bold and slender weights of this type could be found everywhere in newspaper headlines, on posters and brochures. The “Grotesque” became the instrument of a new found factuality in search of a more poignant form of expression. In their basic forms, the sans serif lowercase letters remained quite similar to those in roman type, the vertical strokes retaining a greater thickness compared to the oblique transitions and joins. The capital letters, on the other hand, were significantly altered: now all letters from A to Z had a similar width—previously narrow characters such as B, E, P and S were widened while letters like T, M and W were kept narrower (Fig. 8). The use of these new typefaces was limited almost exclusively to typesetting for titles and headlines. The body text remained intact, true to the classic form of roman type. This situation would endure for over 100 years. It wasn’t until after World War II that sans serif fonts were to experience a true renaissance and revolutionize the world of text publishing.


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almost 100 years of developments. One of their models, Breite Grotesk, was from the year 1867, while for the model of his Helvetica (fig.12) type family, Max Miedinger used the so-called Schelter Grotesk from the year 1880, whose matrices were sold at this time by Schelter & Giesecke to many foundries (Fig. 13). Univers, by Adrian Frutiger (Fig. 14), with its strongly emphasized thick-thin contrasts and somewhat angular ovals, had no typical models. The first designs of this kind of sans serif font family were created in 1950 at the Zurich School of Applied Arts. What certainly helped these 3 fonts become the international successes which they are today, is the fact that they were all made available to the three most important leadsetting systems of the time and were therefore all widely used in the mass production of texts.

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The grid The discovery of the grid had a considerable impact on the development of this new form of typography—not only in the breakdown of the page into graphic units but also in the analysis of the individual characters of the alphabet. Such a system had already been used for centuries in Japanese architecture, where the unit of planning is the size of the tatami, a straw mat, which is used to map out the proportions of each room in a unified way. An illustration by Walter Käch shows the conception of a grid for a sans serif font (Fig. 15), on which most lowercase letters can be designed. The difference to the way in which characters were previously drawn can be seen in the direct comparison of a constructed and a modular typeface (Fig. 16). In our example, the upper line (Futura) has fill areas featuring eyes and intermediate spaces which fluctuate greatly in size and form; on the lower line (Univers), the fill areas are more similar. The curves are ovals which have been slightly stretched to one corner and there is a distinct thinning in the oblique transitions and joins, as can be seen in b and n, for instance. The interior and exterior white triangles at the oblique angles are also more similar to each other.

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The definition of “medium” The thickness of a stroke is one of the most decisive factors in determining the basic structure of a typeface, especially with regards to what is considered “normal”. A stroke thickness norm had already been established in the Carolingian minuscules and especially in the first humanistic roman types. It is the exact relationship between the black and white values which is responsible for lending the x-height strip of a text line a certain grayness. This grayness is what the reader perceives as normal.


And these proportions are perceived by readers with astonishing sensitivity. All too often a type foundry came out with a font which later only had to be complemented with a “Book”, a “Medium” or a “Heavy” in order to be accepted as legible or “normal”. However, it is not easy to exactly define these norm values. The black values are influenced by the thickness of the oblique transitions (and the serifs in roman type). An average value could be defined as when the x-height is approximately 5 1/2 times the width of the stroke (Fig. 17). The normal width of a sans serif typeface can be defined by the eye’s width which should be approximately 3 times the width of the stroke and with a bearing value of one stroke thickness on each side. And if, in compensation for the oblique black value, 1/2 stroke thickness is subtracted from the x-height, a theoretical x-strip is created whose height is 5 times the thickness of the stroke. The gray value is composed of 2/7 black surface and 5/7 white space, i.e. a density of about 30%.



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Optical corrections Optical effects also have to be taken into consideration. The thickness of a stroke perceived by the eye is relative. From roman type, readers are accustomed to thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes, which is taken into account in the development of new typefaces (see Fig. 16). This example also demonstrates how the stroke thickness becomes more wedge-shaped as it approaches another stroke in order to avoid a 15 conical effect towards the outside. Small eyes are widened from the inside through a thinning of the strokes (Fig. 18).

Sans serif italics The italic weights were also formally structured on a grid of their own. It was not a question of creating independent typefaces, as with roman type, but simply slanting the strokes into a more diagonal position and maintaining the same gray values. The precise angle applied is decisive for the expressiveness of an italic weight. Univers, which was designed right from the start for photosetting, was given a steep diagonal slant of 16°; the barriers











UNIVERS

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UNIVERS

UNIVERS UNIVERS UNIVERS UNIVERS





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UNIVERS 17

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The variants A carefully planned proportional change of the basic grid is needed to be able to design harmonious variants such as narrow, wide, light and bold, without altering the overall impression of the style. Unlike the diagonal endings of old sans serif types, the consistent horizontal endings of the curves (Fig. 19) improves the acceptance of such variants. The diversity offered by a font family had to be extended beyond the classic triptych of light, bold and italic to include a fully structured font set with many weights. For the first time, the typeface also takes on the character of the text itself.

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GILL SANS ABCDEFG abcdefghijk 123456789 EUROSTILE

EUROSTILE

EUROSTILE EUROSTILE EUROSILE EUROSTILE

EUROSTILE 12345 6789&0

PEIGNOT

ABCDEFGH abcdefghijklm

123456789 ANTIQUE OLIVE LINOTYPE MATR IX

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Peignot This highly individualistic type family Peignot was designed by A. M. Cassandre and Charles Peignot, starting in 1936. The initial motivation was to design an alphabet based on Unziale in which upper and lowercase letters could be Capital letters In comparison with lowercase merged. Capitals were later added, however, as letters, the uppercase was considerably reduced in the customer was not receptive to the idea of a size, also for the sake of the aesthetics of the gray single alphabet for both cases. A similar concept line. The previously discussed standardization of led De Roos to create Simplex (1939). What was also innovative about Peignot at the width which was applied in the first sans serif fonts time was a sans serif typeface emphasizing bold (Fig. 8) was also quite conducive to this trend. downstrokes and fine transitions. Since then, nuThe spacing problem The problem of text merous other fonts have been developed with a spacing deserves some explanation as well. In similar type ductus. They do not deserve mention leadsetting, the serifs in roman type made it impos- here, however, as in most cases they were straightsible to place letters too close to each other, as the forward roman types, simply without serifs. serifs acted like buffers between train carriages. The arrangement of vertical bars in roman type can be Microgramma With the widespread distribucompared with a classic row of columns with uni- tion of television, a new form began to imprint itself fied spacing (Fig. 20a). But due to the absence of in subconscious of the masses, namely the visible serifs in the new grotesque typefaces, a conscious part of the cathode tube. This form represented a reduction of the lateral bearing values was required merging of a rectangular and an oval form – at to ensure the visual unity of each word. In this way, the time, an unusual combination. Consequently, a two-phased rhythm was established (Fig. 20b). it is not surprising that two fonts developed at this The new technology of photosetting, as well as time by Aldo Novarese, Eurostile (1962) and Microscratch film letters, allowed for complete freedom gramma (1952), became international successes. in determining the spacing between characters. It is interesting to note that fonts with such exThis trend led to an absurd crowding of the letters traordinary basic structures are practically never to the point where they practically seemed glued used for longer texts. This is because readers are receptive to unusual type patterns in large print together. but find them too disruptive for the reading of longer texts. Outsiders between the letters imposed by leadsetting were no longer a consideration. To this day, this steep angle has continued to inspire typographers seeking to add a sense of motion to their print jobs.

ABCDEFGHJK abcdefghijkm 1234567890

Several fonts should also be considered which, Antique Olive One typeface which stands out strictly speaking, do not clearly fit into the evo- from the direct development line of the sans serifs is Antique Olive which was developed by Roger lutionary line of sans serif type. Excoffon, in 1962. The hand of a painter can clearly Gill Sans One of the most unique sans serif be sensed in this font, especially in the unique styles is the font known as Gill Sans (1928). Eric formation of the curves and the concentration of Gill undoubtedly drew inspiration from the signage weight in the top of each letter. Nevertheless, this typeface developed by Edward Johnston in 1918 for font is strictly based on the classic skeleton of rothe London Underground. The distinctive character- man type which has, in turn, led to its increasingly istics of the Gill Sans font are the classic forms of successful application in text passages. the a and g, the wide t, but also the old-fashioned roman capitals. The rounded c, e and s are the first Deviations In the 1970s new phenomena apexamples of vertical stroke ends which create an peared, especially large cab typesetting, which optical effect of the stroke thinning towards the gave typography an unexpected new boost. New ending, alluding to roman type. On the whole, Gill technological developments made magnetic (and Sans exudes a profound medieval spirit – which later optical) recognition of coded graphic elemakes it all the more surprising it is essentially the ments possible. The challenge for technicians was only sans serif typeface without a modular use of to reshape letters so they could also integrate strokes. The O is a perfect circle. Oblique and verti- their digital codes. As a result, the OCR-technique cal strokes as well as upstrokes and downstrokes was developed which allowed typefaces to be all have a consistent thickness. Only a, e and g recognized both by the human eye and optical have considerably thinner strokes at the openings scanners. In the early phases, this development of the small eyes. These aberrations from an other- led to the shocking mutilation of the letters of the wise consistent stroke thickness are the trademark alphabet in their familiar forms. At the same time, clocks and pocket calculators began to appear characteristics of the “Gill” typeface.


Further development is possible As previously discussed, postwar sans serif fonts like Helvetica, Univers, etc. became so enormously successful and widespread that they soon permeated all forms of typographic use with the exception of books and newspapers. Even today, they are still among the most widespread fonts in daily use. In the 1970s, it seemed the development of sans serif fonts had come to a climax. It was widely assumed that the considerable number of sans serif fonts which had been developed since the beginning of the century had led to a saturation of the style and thereby all gaps had been filled for these sorts of typefaces. Looking back from our present vantage point, this assumption must be considered false. The previous age of gloss The typical appearance of the gray line was most indicative of the period spanning the 1950s and 1960s where there was a tendency towards glossy surfaces. Buildings were erected whose “skin” was comprised of glass and mirrors. Other typical elements of this period included highly polished furniture, opulent use of chrome on automobiles, the shiny gloss of plastic articles and nylon clothing, not to mention the glossy style of art printing paper. The sans serif types created in the course of this modernistic age were also characterized by a similar “glossy” feel. A more tactile structure As environmental awareness began to grow, the desire for glossy surfaces was gradually replaced by a longing for the more natural appearance of matte surfaces. The preference for an artificial shine was replaced by a love of natural materials. The rough, original appearance of materials was left unfinished and unpolished, giving a new expression to modern objects of daily use.

Cars and typefaces: a comparison In certain areas, our perception of forms is constantly being refined. For instance, the eyes of car lovers (and there are plenty of them around) have continuously been trained to react to barely noticeable changes in the shapes of car bodies. Each year, the basic silhouette of any given car only changes very slightly – but after three years already, it is considered out-of-date. For typography professionals a similar process takes place every year with typefaces. New trends are continuously emerging in which new fonts are created or old one come back into use. Based on these considerations, we have put together a comparison between cars and typefaces with regards to the respective developments in form. 1925 We’ll begin our comparison with a car from the year 1925. Several typical letters from sans serif typefaces developed at the same time can be seen beneath it. The mixture of purely circular and absolutely straight lines can be clearly identified in both examples – two distinct expressions of one and the same epoch (Fig. 21a). 1955 In the following 30 years, the silhouette of the automobile underwent a complete transformation. One the hand, physical factors like an improved understanding of aerodynamics came into play, on the other hand, there was a general stylistic move towards the streamlined form. All right angles had disappeared, protruding elements like headlights and fenders were absorbed by the overall form. Everything functional was molded to conform to the aesthetic vision. In these years of unsurpassed economic prosperity, designers in all fields were driven by an unquenchable thirst for modernism. The creation of typefaces was subject to the exact same drive and brought forth the typically modulated and rounded forms of the new sans serif families (Fig. 21b). Only the strict rules of legibility kept type designers from streamlining the letters completely – so a few imperative details were able to be rescued. We’ll look at an example to illustrate this point. For the sake of aesthetics, there has always been a temptation to leave out the typical projections found in letters like b, d, m and n – projections which have their origin in calligraphy – in order to attain a “purer” outline which could be applied throughout the entire alphabet (Fig. 22). Such conceptions are certainly acceptable in headlines, for longer text passages, however, this degree of deviation from the classic form would never be tolerated.

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abcerstuv

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abcerstuv 21c

abcerstuv

bgny

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which utilized completely new, 7-segment digital characters like Quartz and LCD. With the emergence of these typefaces, which became known as computer typefaces, there was a drastic break with the century-long, steady development in the form of everything written. It could be said that these types led to a certain desecration of what, up until then, had been the sacred right of readers to aesthetic and legible texts. The limits of accessibility had clearly been crossed. During the same period of time, a new generation of youths emerged who continuously strove to challenge the establishment, also crossing the limits of acceptability with their asocial behavior, aggressive clothing and eccentric make-up and hairstyles.


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1975 The student revolts and general public tumult of 1968 managed to shake Europe out of its ideological and elitist reverie. Subsequently, the economic crisis of the 1970s brought about an overall repositioning of values. With regards to design, a new aesthetic was discovered in functional forms. The design or everyday articles was based more and more on rational and ergonomic considerations. For improved functioning and stability, cars were designed using angular shapes again and the use of chrome had all but vanished (Fig. 21c). A fascination with raw materials was widespread, people rediscovered the comfort of cotton shirts and art printing paper was almost exclusively matte.

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SYNTAX

ABCDEFHIJK abcdefghijkl

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FRUTIGER ABCDEFGH abcdefghij 123456789

ERAS ABCDEFPR

abcdefghij 123456789 26

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Vintage cars A new formal attitude was taken towards the sans serif types in these years as well. It was recognized that some angular details in letters helped improve the immediate perception and readability of a word. As a result, old and often even somewhat jagged fonts came back into fashion, such as Franklin, News Gothic, Vectora and Venus. In addition, Gill Sans, which had never really completely been forgotten, was suddenly in great demand again. For expressly neutral messages, the constructed fonts from 1930 were applied. So, just like with automobiles, a new passion was discovered for all things vintage. Grotesque hybrids The creation of truly innovative sans serif fonts was not really possible anymore in the 1970s as, for the most part, all stylistic gaps had already been filled and the formal possibilities had all been explored. For this reason, new typefaces could only really be created as variations of already existing typefaces or hybrids which drew on various styles. Syntax In 1969 Hans Eduard Meier created Syntax, a new font which was somewhat ahead of its timeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;not unusual for innovations. With slightly condensed spacing, it could be considered in the tradition of the Morris Fuller Benton font News Gothic (1909) which also made use of angular joins in the conception of the letters b, d, p, g, n, m and u (Fig. 23). The diagonal endings of the angular strokes on the A, K, M, k, v, w etc. had already been seen before as well in Kabel (1928). Syntax had a refreshingly new and personal touch, primarily due to a complete reliance on roman type as a model, especially with regards to form and stroke use. Unfortunately, such a distinct reliance on form is almost always compromised as soon as other weights have to be drawn. A consistent design of the angular strokes was no longer possible

in bold and extra bold, for instance. Today Hans Eduard Meier created a revised and extended Linotype Syntax family. Frutiger At the beginning of the 1960s, the idea of a sans serif hybrid was already beginning to take seed, as the matrix factory Sofratype in Paris was looking for a new sans serif look. Based on the same idea, in 1970 a signage typeface was developed for the Roissy airport navigation system which required optimal legibility. The entire structuring of the font and the solution of the final details could claim to have been 100 years in the making, drawing on the entire rich heritage of sans serif design. For Linotype, the typeface was later extended to a family with 11 weights. Here, as well, the degree of variation was limited as, for instance, in the development of very wide or narrow styles. The only way to allow for infinite variants while maintaining consistent design was to ensure oblique endings of the curves, as in Univers (Fig. 18). Bell Centennial (1938) could be considered the godfather of the Frutiger typeface family. To allow for best possible legibility in small sizes the type characters were reduced to a minimal, undecorated form. Details like the curve endings were kept very open and fortified with the addition of boldness. The figures in Bell (Fig. 24) are a prime example of optimal readability. Today Adrian Frutiger and Linotype have improved Frutiger as a Platinum product which is called Frutiger Next. Eras In many respects, Eras (1976) by Albert Boton is a completely unique font, especially due to the wide, slightly diagonal layout and the maximal x-height. Another typical characteristic is the open loops on the a, P, R, 6 and 9â&#x20AC;&#x201D;a solution which suggests calligraphic influences. But despite these highly individual characteristics, the font design strictly adhered to a classic model, which is most certainly the reason why it was so quickly distributed around the world. A wide selection The development of photosetting and then digital reproduction caused a substantial reduction in the costs of manufacturing type, i.e. through the introduction of electronic typefaces. The considerably enlarged memory capacities today mean that a wide selection of alphabets can be stored on a typesetting machine and are immediately available for use. Inspired by these factors, over the last decade, a variety of new creations have been introduced so todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s selection of fonts also includes a number of new sans serif styles. Different strokes A few sans serif types deserve at least brief mention here. In order to


About legibility It is difficult to evaluate the new sans serif types without the advantage of being able to look back on them through time. Legibility, however, is one criterion we can objectively assess today with considerable certainty. An alphabet which is widely accepted by readers, even when appearing in long passages and in a small point size, is almost guaranteed to become a lasting success. This is the same factor which has determined the selection of roman typefaces which have persisted over the centuries. And the same rules will certainly also apply to present-day sans serif types. The process of reading can be explained as follows. Every reader has a so-called matrix of letter forms stored within their subconscious. When reading, the perceived characters are compared with those in this matrix and are either readily accepted or rejected as too foreign. As we are confronted with different styles of type everyday, gradually the matrix is expanded and the characters develop flexible contours, but only to a certain degree. Over the centuries, the limits of this range of readability have been rather clearly defined by the similar design elements of all roman type – elements which have reappeared again and again. Consequently, any new sans serif type which strives for optimal legibility will automatically fall into the same patterns (Fig. 26). A comparison with clothing can be very insightful. The inherent structure of a character could be compared with the naked human body which can be clothed in different styles of apparel.

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Oversimplified basic patterns As already indicated in illustration 22, new typefaces often try to press all the symbols used in the alphabet into an oversimplified, usually highly geometric mold. Two typical experiments in this direction were Bauhaus and Serpentine. The first of these fonts attempted to use circles and circle segments as the main elements of character design, also forcing the highly important diagonal strokes to adhere to this principle. The latter font applied the rectangle as the basic design pattern; aside from the diagonals, all characters followed this pattern and the arc was completely banned from the inventory of forms. Without serifs The absence of serifs in general also has an influence on legibility. Often the serifs are the main elements of similarity between various forms of type. Since these elements always appear at the same points on a letter, they serve as an important recognition aid. For instance, the roman u is not simply an upside-down n as readers are not accustomed to seeing serifs protruding to the upper right on a lowercase letter (Fig. 27 top). Exceptions to this rule can be found in lowercase letters which have maintained the forms of their capital counterparts either partially (k, y) or completely (v, w, x). Lacking these nuances, the more rudimentary sans serif characters require a more distinct and marked form. Serifs help connect individual letters to form a complete word; without them, a far more subtle and slightly condensed layout becomes necessary (Fig. 27 below). The reading test In closing, it should once more be emphasized that all observations discussed here must be understood within the context of typeface and text. To demonstrate the discussed principles, 4 blocks of text written in various sans serif fonts have been placed next to each other for comparison (Fig.28). As a reader you are now invited to form your own opinion. As you read the individual texts take note of your readiness to continue reading but also any feelings of frustration. Human feelings are highly unpredictable. For this reason, longer passages of text should not appear too peculiar and thereby provoke a feeling of resistance in the reader—for the real purpose of a font is nothing more or less than to be a quiet conveyor of human thoughts.

Adrian Frutiger

27

28 Typography is fundamentally twodimensional architeture. The harmony of single proportions, the grouping of lines of type, the judging of contrast and balance, the symmetry and dynamic tension of axial arrangement – all these are the shaping tools, so employed by the typographer in a given task as to bring the reader a text in its most appealing form. Typography is fundamentally twodimensional architeture. The harmony of single proportions, the grouping of lines of type, the judging of contrast and balance, the symmetry and dynamic tension of axial arrangement – all these are the shaping tools, so employed by the typographer in a given task as to bring the reader a text in its most appealing form. Typography is fundamentally twodimensional architeture. The harmony of single proportions, the grouping of lines of type, the judging of contrast and balance, the symmetry and dynamic tension of axial arrangement – all these are the shaping tools, so employed by the typographer in a given task as to bring the reader a text in its most appealing form. Typography is fundamentally twodimensional architeture. The harmony of single proportions, the grouping of lines of type, the judging of contrast and balance, the symmetry and dynamic tension of axial arrangement – all these are the shaping tools, so employed by the typographer in a given task as to bring the reader a text in its most appealing form.

Text set in Frutiger™ Next light condensed, 9pt.

55 LINOTYPE MATRIX

lighten up the sternness of the arrow straight lines, slightly bowed downstrokes were introduced. Morris Fuller Benton had already worked on this concept in his Clearface typeface family (1906). Recommendable modern versions include Mixage by Aldo Novarese and Bluejack by Phil Martin (Optima, Pascal etc. are often wrongfully classified in this group as they are clearly simply roman types without serifs). Linear typefaces may also be lightened up with the addition of small serifs as, for instance, in Elan, Quorum, Serif Gothic and Newtext. In recent years, so-called rounded fonts have been created which feature characters with rounded off stroke ends, a somewhat purist approach to the abstraction of a line. Digital displays with their typical 7-segment characters inspired the use of diagonal stroke endings as can be seen in Quartz and Russel Square, for instance.


Matrix 4.1  

Typo Magazine

Matrix 4.1  

Typo Magazine

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