I am interested in the origins of [[grotesque]] typefaces in nineteenth-century [[Germany]].
In my opinion, the relevance of the Grotesk typology in the context of the birth and early development of the [[sans serif|sanserif]] has perhaps been underestimated by a historiographic tradition focused on Anglo-American achievements. Some indications:
– Most sources agree that [[William Thorowgood]] released the first sanserif lowercase in 1834. Nevertheless, it seems that the [[Scheltzer and Giesecke|Schelter & Giesecke]] foundry (Leipzig) had produced a light sans serif with both capitals and lower case letters by 1825. (Source: Lawson, Anatomy of a Typeface, p. 297). I find this doubtful, but if proven, this face would be not only prior to Thorowgood´s (and even [[Figgins]]') but far more sophisticated.
– The Grotesk typefaces were used in the nineteenth century for setting [[body text]] (namely in scientific and technical publications), long before the american [[gothic|gothics]] left display and jobbing as their exclusive tasks. (Source: http://www.typolexikon.de/g/grotesk.html)
– Looking at specimens from late nineteenth century, one finds a very remarkable level (for the time) of formal development, and perhaps even a tendency towards systematization and coordination of [[weight|weights]] and sizes. (Source: Schelter&Giesecke specimen, c.1898)
Any argument or contribution is more than welcome. I´d like also to pose these questions to the forum:
1. When did the first Grotesk appear in Germany?
2. Which typeface would be the first in including a lowercase in that country (if the Lawson statement is erroneous)?
3. When did the sanserif started to be used as a text face there?
Thank you very much,