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Offenbach am Maine

Rudolf Kock GERMAN expressionism KLINGSPOR



sans-serif 1927 to 1929

Std Kabel Light (11 pt)

Std Kabel Book (11 pt)

the KABEL font family As the tenth Typeface created by German designer Rudolf Koch, Kabel was released by the Klingspor foundry in 1927. This geometric sans serif typeface was named for the trans Atlantic telephone cable completed by Bell commercial service between New York and London. During the late 1920s, every major German type foundry was actively working on a new kind of sans serif design based on geometric character shapes. Ludwig and Mayer released Erbar, the Bauer foundry was developing Futura, and Berthold was busy creating Berthold Grotesque. To remain competitive, Klingspor would have to release a similar type. Ultimately they employed Koch to design Kabel. Upon looking at Kabel, a number of influeces can be detected. Firstly, Koch was greatly familiar with the Bauhaus, a school focusing on crafts, fine

arts and design, which operated in Germany from 1919 to 1933. Kabel bears some resemblance to Futura, also released in 1927, however Feder Schrift and Erbar liken to it more so than Futura. This can be noticed in the forms of the characters. The geometric characteristics of Kabel were an experiment of sorts for Koch, who prided himself on his calligraphic ability. Forms of the Kabel characters bass more influence on Expressionism movement in Germany comparing to Modernism movement of that time. The mono-line types, which were simply constructed from straight lines, there circle, and the rectangle, stormed onto the typographical scene in the late 1920s. While Kabel was geometric in form, Koch based its character proportions on his own artistic sensibilities, and perhaps even a creative whim or two.

Std Kabel Heavy (11 pt)

Geometric sans-serif fonts like Futura and Kabel, from the 1920s period, represent most logic-driven letterforms taken of any possibile decoration. The typeface stands out for its balance between elegance and raw energy because of Koch’s extreme passion for infusing the Baroque forms. Variations of the four main styles include Zeppelin, wich was created in 1929 ans is a shadow Kabel. Prisma, which was created between 1928 and 1931, is another variation of Kabel. It is an eye catching display face using fine parallel strokes. Koch’s personal form of this Geometric Sans Serif started at the Bauhaus in 1926 and was eventually designed for the Klingspor Foundry. Wonker states: “The Four Gospels were hand set in 1926 at the printing shop of the Klingspor type foundry and printed for Koch. The typeface Jennen Schrift was used for the first time with this projects.

Std Kabel Black (11 pt)

The rights to the original Koch design were actually transferred to the Stempel type foundry. Like many ofthe typefaces that Rudolf Koch designed for printing use, Kabel is a carefully constructed and drawn. Linotype has two versions of Kabel in its library. Kabel has a shorter x-height, with longer ascenders and descenders, making it a bit truer to Koch’s original design than the second version. ITC Kabel was designed by Victor Caruso under a special license from Stempel to revive design for phototypesetting. This version, known in the United States as Cable, has a larger x-height, shorter ascenders and descenders, more weights, and a diamond shaped i-dot.

Std Kabel Light (6 to 24 pt)

Std Kabel Book (7 to 24 pt)

the AUTHOR Rudolf Koch was a major influence on decorative art in twentieth century Germany. His

draftsman from 1899 to 1902 working at the Leipzig Book Binding

old calligraphy.

engraver, and remained in Leipzig for four years designing

contribution to modern Typography can be considered as a glorification of

After his father’s death, one of his father’s friends took him in

as an apprentice into his manufacturing facility of metal

goods in Hanau in 1892. Meanwhile, Koch joined

the Art Academy in his leisure time. After

Company. In 1903 he married the daughter of a printer of copper

for the book trade.

Rudolf Koch is not only a typographic artist but

also a great teacher and an author. He

three years, he decided to attend the

designed “The little ABC book” in 1934.

returned to Nuremberg. He decided

493 old-world symbols, monograms,

and went to Munich to continue

The Klingspor Foundry hired

college. After some bureau-

the age of 30. Calligraphy

job as a draftsman and a painter in a lithographic

for him. In 1908 he decided to start teaching a

School of Applied Arts full time and he

In 1930 he wrote a book containing

on the career of Drawing Master

runes entitled “The Book of Signs”.

his further studies at the technical Koch as a type designer at

cratic problems, he found a

proved to be a passion

printing house. Eventually graphic arts and lettering he became an efficient class at the Offenbach

Std Kabel Heavy (8 to 24 pt)

Std Kabel Black (9 to 24 pt)

School of Arts and Crafts. It is in this carreer that he produced

placed in important spots in the map.

influence on type designers and letters that is still

called “Book of flower”, comprised

almost three decades of exquisite work that has had an

with us today. In 1910, Koch produced his

first typeface, “Koch Bold”. In 1918, Koch

created the group of scribes who formed

a workshop under his guardianship.

In 1919 he made his first woodcuts.

From 1925 to 1935 Koch with the

From 1922 to 1929 Koch designed a book

with sket-ches of flower plants.

Rudolf Koch was similar to typefa-

ces designers counterparts from

the United States, his popu-

larity started in a foundry

collaboration of Kredel, Wolpe type for hand setting.

and Bender designed the

However in Germany, it

sisted of lands, towns and

than it would have

“Map of Germany”. It con- took his designs longer

features of the different German states, where

taken in America to become adapted

quotations from Ger- for mechanical composition. man authors were

Std Kabel Heavy (20, 25, 30, 35, 40 pt)

“I was very tempted by the exercise of using a compass and straight-edge to create a typeface since, because of my lively interesting type form, I otherwise end up with very personal solutions, and I hoped for once to be free of this.

People always think I am looking for a personal style but this is not true.

I avoid it whenever I can but not with any success.

And I have no succeeded here either.

May be that is why this typface has not been given the same recognition as others in Germany because it projects a character in contrast with the spirit of the current style.�

Std Kabel Light/Book/Heavy/Black (30 pt)

the WEIGHTS of the font

AaBbCcDdEe AaBbCcDdEe AaBbCcDdEe AaBbCcDdEe

12345,$%&!?() 12345,$%&!?() 12345,$%&!?() 12345,$%&!?()

Std Kabel Light (30 pt)

ABCDEFGHIJKLMN OPQRSTUVWXYZ ÀÈÉÌÒÙ abcdefghijklmn opqrstuvwxyz àèéìòù 1234567890 Std Kabel Book (30 pt)

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNO PQRSTUVWXYZ ÀÈÉÌÒÙ abcdefghijklmn opqrstuvwxyz àèéìòù 1234567890

Std Kabel Heavy (30 pt)

ABCDEFGHIJKLMN OPQRSTUVWXYZ ÀÈÉÌÒÙ abcdefghijklmn opqrstuvwxyz àèéìòù 1234567890 Std Kabel Black (30 pt)

ABCDEFGHIJKLMN OPQRSTUVWXYZ ÀÈÉÌÒÙ abcdefghijklmn opqrstuvwxyz àèéìòù 1234567890

Std Kabel Light (30 pt)

the GLYPHS ¡!¿?"“„‘&@# $€£¥ℓ%‰ ,.:;…¸˛\¦|/⁄( )[]{}«»‹› `ˆˇˉ˘˙¨˚˜˝*123ao°^ +±×·-÷<=>¼½¾ ~≈≠≤≥µƒΩπ∂∆∏∑√∫∞

Std Kabel Heavy (30 pt)

_ ¬­­– — † ‡ • ◊ ©®™℮¢¤§¶ fi fl ð ı œ þ š ž âãäåæçêëîïñôõöøûüýÿ ÂÃÄÅÆÇÊËÎÏÐÑÔÕ ÖØÛÜÝÞߣłŒŠŸŽ

Std Kabel Book (11 pt)

the LINEAR GEOMETRIC font Kabelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s character shapes and proportions can be traced to ancient Greek lapidary letters, Venetian old style type designers, and, of course, calligraphy. Sans serif are stripped to the bare minimum by losing the serif. They first appear broadly in the mid-nineteenth century with the introduction of typefaces carved from wood. The increased development of sans serif in all the widths and sizes remains today, as sans serifs prove to be quite adaptable. Like its contemporary Futura it bears influence of two earlier geometric sans-serif typefaces: Feder Schrift and Erbar. Humanist sans serif were submerged in the calligraphic traits of the 15th century serifs rather than the evolution of wood types. Geometric Sans Serif was a direct result in 1920s of the modern art movements in Europe and the Bauhaus in Germany, a serious, functional style

of sans-serif emerged. These mono-line types, which were simply constructed from straight lines, the circle, and the rectangle, stormed onto the typographical scene. It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t an absolutely new idea at that time, since first sans serif faces had appeared in the beginning of the 19th century, but never before this seemingly outlying and exotic trend claimed so much importance as in 1920s and 30s. The Kabel font displayed the core of Klingspor ideology, strictly geometric outline, lacking any decorative elements and showing influence of historical shapes of letters. The negative spaces of letters are more open and broader than most geometric sans-serifs, and stroke weights are more limited. The resulting blend of geometric consistency and exaggerated roundness may be debatable, but it was at least something quite new, and therefore, impressive at that time.




nn aa oo oo


no visible contrast


big eye

vertical axis (except for e)

Gill Sans


geometric construction using optical corrections Caecilia

Std Kabel Book (11 pt)

the SHAPE of letters The stroke weights of Kabel are more varied than most geometric sans-serifs, and the terminus of vertical strokes are cut to a near eight-degree angle. This has the effect of not quite sitting on the baseline and making for a more animated, less static feeling than Futura. Back to the ch legature thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a study. Lowercase character e show a link with Carolingian script because the cross bar is on the diagonal. The lowercase a and g are different than the most of the other geometric sans-serif typefaces, they reflect a Roman style influence, but with a modern style. The a is leaning backward and the g has an open descender as a specific preference. One consistent characteristic of Geometric sans serif fonts is the optical circular o. Lowercase b and d are not specular. Uppercase characters are broad and show influence of monumental roman capitals. Capital W is splayed and the G has no terminal.


8° angle cut strokes

ch e a g studied ligature

cross bar on the diagonal

leaning backward

open descender

o bd W G optical circular

not specular


no terminal

Bibliography and Sitography: - Aynsley, Jeremy. (2000). “Graphic Design in Germany 1890-1945” - Cinamon, Gerald. (2000). “Rudolf Koch” - Greensfelder, Tom. 1996. “Meditation Letter arts review” - Kredel, Fritz. 1996. “Rudolf Koch, as I remember him. Letter arts review” - Meggs. 1983. “A History of Graphic Design” - Rizman, D. 2003. “History of Modern Design” - Wronker, Lili. 1996. “Rudolf Koch life, craft and art. Letter arts review” - -


Profile for Martina Bonetti

Kabel font family - Specimen  

Progetto di Martina Bonetti per il corso di Typographic Design al Politecnico di Milano

Kabel font family - Specimen  

Progetto di Martina Bonetti per il corso di Typographic Design al Politecnico di Milano