Akzidenz Grotesk roots

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Gerald Lange's picture
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Joined: 15 Mar 2002 - 1:22pm
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Xurxo

One slight problem with the Caslon “breakthrough.” The type was shown on a specimen only as an information marker and not a face that was offered for sale. It is thought by some historians to be a dead link. There are other earlier examples but they were seemingly only found in stone cutting.

More likely there was some form of interplay of influence between styles offered from different countries.

For instance. The Americans who developed decorative wood type based it on British metal type imports which were in turn derived from French decorated typefaces and then Dutch, at about the turn of the century and very early 1900s. The popularity of American wood type in turn resulted in metal type foundries churning out a lot of similar decorated styles.

Sometimes the string of influence is just not a straight line.

Gerald

Xurxo Insua's picture
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Joined: 26 Mar 2004 - 4:02pm
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(No coments to your argument, Gerald. Thank you for it.)

In words of Erik Spiekermann ( http://www.typophile.com/forums/messages/83/552.html ), “Schelter Grotesk” was the actual model for Helvetica (not Akzidenz). Do you know any source where I could find a specimen of this typeface?

Helvetica was originally called Neue Haas Grotesk, and was a direct redesign of a previous “Haas Grotesk”, itself based on AG. Any source for a specimen of this one?

Thanks again

Timo Klaavo's picture
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Joined: 22 Jan 2003 - 4:53am
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The rubberstamp image is from:

Bruckmann's Handbuch der Schrift
Erhardt D. Stiebner, Walter Leonhard unter Mitarbeit von Johannes Determann...[et al.]
München : Bruckmann, 1985

Sorry about the two year delay. The book was from a library.

http://typophile.com/node/17643
Brought me back here. Great info there too.

The Book of Type and Design by O. Hlavsa (1960) has a sample of a grotesk "cast by the Swiss Haas Foundry", but it appears to be Schelter & Giesecke grotesk (like FF Bau). Is there a connection or is it just confusion?

Another interesting related grotesk is Genzsch & Heyse Blockschrift:

Does anyone know the year it first appears? This sample is from a late 1910's specimen book.

Timo

Thomas Binder's picture
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Joined: 13 Jan 2006 - 9:04am
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> about "Haas Grotesk"

Maybe someone can translate the parts you are interested in -

Max Miedinger schuf den Entwurf zur Helvetica mager und halbfett im Jahr 1937. Im Jahre 1957 bei der Haas'schen Schriftgießerei, Münchenstein, Schweiz unter dem Namen Haas-Grotesk mager und Haas-Grotesk halbfett gegossen.
Nach der Übernahme der Haas'schen Schriftgießerei durch die D.Stempel AG, Frankfurt am Main wurde die Schrift dort unter dem Namen Helvetica ins Programm genommen und gleichzeitig im Jahr 1961 um die vielen anderen Schnitte erweitert und zwar parallel in Frankfurt am Main und in Münchenstein, Schweiz.

HERE you can view printed Material and read further informations, search for Helvetica.

Thom

Dan Reynolds's picture
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Joined: 20 Jul 2002 - 11:00am
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>Max Miedinger schuf den Entwurf zur Helvetica mager und halbfett im Jahr 1937.

What is your source for that, Thomas? I've seen that quoted on Typografie.info (from Georg).
It isn't true. And I posted that there, too!

Miedinger was commission by Haas to make the base design for Neue Hass Grotesk in the 1950s.

Thomas Binder's picture
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>What is your source for that, Thomas? I’ve seen that quoted on Typografie.info (from Georg).
It isn’t true. And I posted that there, too!

@dan
I've taken this text directly from Georgs Website.
Sorry, i thought Georg would know it...

Should i edit my first posting?

Dan Reynolds's picture
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Joined: 20 Jul 2002 - 11:00am
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No, it's OK. All the other information is correct. Somewhere, at the beginning of the chain—probably where Georg got his info in the first place—there is a typo. That's all ;-)

It isn't too serious. Imagine if Helvetica had been drawn in the 1930s. Boy, those Swiss boys would've been onto something.

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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Genzsch & Heyse Blockschrift

Timo, what are those little "Flare" characters at the bottom tight of the specimen you showed -- can we have a close-up please?

Charles Leonard's picture
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Joined: 23 Feb 2006 - 6:29pm
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Since this thread has been picked up again, does anyone know how Akzidenz Grotesk was cut? I think I remember reading somewhere that it was one of the earliest fonts to have been engraved using the Benton pattern machine engraving process.
And is it correct that it was re-released after 1900 for the US market as Standard Gothic?

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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It was released in the U.S., I believe by ATF, as Standard but I think later than 1900.

ChrisL

Timo Klaavo's picture
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can we have a close-up please?

This is another interesting thing. They used to have trendy Art Nouveau/Jugend versions of the grotesks. Switch those characters and the typeface turns into "Botha". Sample from the next spread:

Schelter & Giesecke went further with "Columbus":

Those Swiss boys must have shaken their heads.

Standard

My Standard "specimen no 539 A" reads "made in Germany by Berthold type foundry... Imported and distributed by Amsterdam continental types and graphic equipment inc." I Can't find the year of printing, which is a common problem with type specimens. I believe its from the fifties.

Timo

Nick Shinn's picture
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trendy Art Nouveau/Jugend versions

Thanks.
Like a lot of type specimen stuff, one wonders how it would be used "in the field".
With discretion, hopefully.

erik spiekermann's picture
Joined: 9 Dec 2001 - 9:28pm
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Gerstner program was released by Berthold for Diatype, I guess in 1957 after Univers, Before Helvetica...
It certainly wasn't. Diatype was still being developed then. The first usable machines came onto the market in 1961. Gerstner Programm was designed in 1967.

Where these stamps came from? Berthold? Linotype?
These are obviously rubber stamps, set into a composing stick-type-of-device after the individual letters had been stamped onto the ink pad. The whole stick with the rubber letters inside it was then turned around and pressed onto paper or any other material. The sample says "Lettering for windows, displays, exhibitions, shops".

There was another material, called Plakadur, Plakat being the German word for poster. It was a wood/plastic composite that Berthold made its larger "wood" type from. They had a beautiful, fairly light cut of Akzidenz Grotesk Medium which was used for showcard printing machines. They were produced by a small company and sold to department stores for printing large labels, showcards, price cards. Essentially, you placed the type into the bed of the machine, inked it, put the paper on top of the type and ran a pressure roller over it, like a small proofing press. Apart from AG Medium, the had other Berthold faces, e.g. Herold, Block Condensed and Fanfare (by Louis Oppenheim, the Lo-Schrift – now LoType – designer).

erik spiekermann's picture
Joined: 9 Dec 2001 - 9:28pm
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The other AG thread is also still alive:

http://typophile.com/node/17643

Chris Lozos's picture
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"It was released in the U.S., I believe by ATF, as Standard"

Sorry for my geezer brain fart error before. It was Univers I was thinking of that was released by ATF, not Standard as I mistakenly said before. I still have visions of those large green cards with all the weight specimens :-/

ChrisL

erik spiekermann's picture
Joined: 9 Dec 2001 - 9:28pm
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does anybody has ANY idea where i can get a set of those? or places where i could search? or even just if there was a special name for them?

As I wrote earlier, they were rubber stamps or made from a composite material, sold under various trade names. One company in Germany was called Neoprint by Gröner GmbH. They made sets in Plakadur and rubber, but i haven't seen them used since the 1980s. They're not made anymore, but – like everything else – probably available on eBay et al.

Thierry Blancpain's picture
Joined: 15 May 2005 - 4:30am
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im from switzerland, thats why i thought that brand names could help me, so i asked again. couldnt find "neoprint" on german ebay though.

but thank you erik, i will try again later that month.

erik spiekermann's picture
Joined: 9 Dec 2001 - 9:28pm
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couldnt find “neoprint” on german ebay though.

Gröner GmbH still exist. Just do a search with that and Neopring on Google – i saw a few rubber stamp sets for sale.

Thierry Blancpain's picture
Joined: 15 May 2005 - 4:30am
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thank you again. sadly, i couldnt find a full set, not only the stamps. it seems, in the picture i linked a few posts earlier, that there was a system to get a consistent baseline, do you know anything about that?

Andreas Seidel's picture
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Joined: 8 Mar 2002 - 3:44am
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At the moment this seller sells 5 neoprint sets.
http://search.ebay.de/_W0QQsassZfranca2QQhtZ-1

--astype.de--

Thierry Blancpain's picture
Joined: 15 May 2005 - 4:30am
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yes, i actually found that one. but its easter-weekend, and altough i've been registred at ebay for almost a year, i never activated my account with the mailed code, nor do i know where it is at the moment - so i have no chance to bid for those :(

Timo Klaavo's picture
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Thanks for the keywords and correcting me Erik.

In the book Visual language Gerstner doesn't mention Helvetica, but Univers as influence so I thought it was from those times.

Gerstner writes:
"Berthold marketed the new old Akzidenz-Grotesk as Gerstner Program - in photolithography; in other words, on the very first photolitography machine called Diatype. This cumbersome piece of equipment was soon replaced by a better one. And with that, the Gerstner Program disappeared from the market."

Xurxo Insua's picture
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Joined: 26 Mar 2004 - 4:02pm
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It very nice to see the thread reviving two years later.

I attach a specimen of a "Breite halbfette Grotesk" by the Schelter&Giesecke foundry, c.1898 (I guess this is related to the Schelteresche Grotesk, the base for FF Bau, as discussed early in the thread.)

A related topic (on German Grotesks and their relevance in the early development of sanserif) has just started at http://typophile.com/node/19482

Blank's picture
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For anyone who isn't watching the other thread, I've just posted some goodies. http://typophile.com/node/17643#comment-159977

Thierry Blancpain's picture
Joined: 15 May 2005 - 4:30am
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i found the following spread in an undated bauer specimen book. ("Hauptprobe: unsere Schriftgiesserei- und Messing-Erzeugnisse: Fabriken in Stuttgart, Berlin SW, Wien, St. Petersburg und Moskau / Bauer & Co., Stuttgart"). at the bottom left it reads "To highlight passages you can use Accidenz-Grotesk on the right side (Page 353). Both typefaces have "the same line"". yes, they say "have the same line".

the cover of the book is Bauer only (a great embossement), but inside there is the H. Berthold AG note on the bottom of every page. whats the ca. date of this? the library couldnt date it.

you can find the full spread here. i cannot garantuee how long this will stay online, so download it if you want to have it.

its a photo of a photocopy, so dont expect too great things.