Any thoughts on DIN Next?

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Zev Iosupovici's picture
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Any thoughts on DIN Next?
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Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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Shouldn't there be only one [[DIN]] typeface?

Simon Daniels's picture
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Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 6:37pm
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>Any thoughts on DIN Next?

$orry I €an’t £ven $tart to ₲ue$$ their ₥otiv₳tio₦

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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I was wondering whether it would be problematic to have more than one "standard".
But the round style here throws some light on that issue.
DIN Round is actually very appropriate to several of the original uses of the typeface--where it was "output" by Rapidograph pen (in technical drawings) or router (e.g. signs "engraved" in plastic laminate or stainless steel).
So the variety of styles does not really create more than one standard, it merely represents a single standard as it would appear in different media.
Equally legitimate would be a crude "brush" version of the face, as rendered by a clumsy artisan...

Nina Stössinger's picture
Joined: 19 Jun 2006 - 3:01pm
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Could someone shed some light on the rights situation maybe? I'm a bit confused that now Linotype is coming out with DIN Next, after FF has come out with FF DIN. It seems like everyone is making their own private DIN now, and I wonder how they can do that – even using the same name?

Jan Erdmann's picture
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Linotype has been licensing DIN long before FF DIN was ever thought of. I guess, since DIN is an official industry standard (Deutsche Industrie Norm), the design rights are public domain (or whatever).

Roger S. Nelsson's picture
Joined: 19 Feb 2008 - 4:55pm
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And it looks like yet another large family version of DIN is on its way... (currently at the MyFonts test server - for those of you participating on MyFonts ;)

Göran Söderström's picture
Joined: 15 Feb 2006 - 2:53am
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Hey, why dont we all do a version?

Simon Daniels's picture
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>Could someone shed some light on the rights situation maybe?

The best way to describe it would be to say it’s probably the same as Highway Gothic in the USA - a relatively recent design that has been placed in the public domain. That's not to say individual interpretations (eg Interstate) are not protectable.

>Hey, why dont we all do a version?

Because the font is, like, so 2007 ;-)

Nick Shinn's picture
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More like 1937.

Jan Erdmann's picture
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First time I ever saw it in use in a magazine for headlines was in 1989 (by Neville Brody).

Mike Diaz's picture
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I like the openness of the lowercase a and a few other letters, but I think does not look as balanced as FF Din. The bolds are particularly wobbly.

Mikey :-)

Joe Pemberton's picture
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Joined: 8 Apr 2002 - 3:36pm
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At least nobody will have an excuse for using Adobe DIN. Adobe's DIN Schriften and it's rabble of accompanying mismatched weights if fun for a while, but not a type family.

Sometimes you use Adobe DIN when you don't know there's a better one out there.

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Adobe's DIN is actually Linotype DIN. Adobe is only acting as a vendor.

Nina Stössinger's picture
Joined: 19 Jun 2006 - 3:01pm
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Thanks for the background guys.
Getting back to what Nick said earlier, it does feel pretty wacky that a standards face such as DIN gets rehashed, resampled and replayed this much… (Although I don't actually dislike it; there's just… a lot of it recently.)

Mikey, agree re the wobbliness. (And it's Not Good when DIN of all things wobbles.) Does the hood of that fat "a" up there look a bit wonky?

To say a nice thing, I love seeing that old style eszett on the left side.

James Mark Hatley's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2004 - 11:00am
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In human history “standard” is just a dare. Versions of the bible? Definitive director’s cuts of Blade Runner?

Joe Farquharson's picture
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Joined: 24 Jun 2002 - 11:00am
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Don't forget Parachute's take on DIN – they tried something a little different with their Display version…

http://www.parachute.gr/fonts.aspx

Nick Shinn's picture
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I first noticed the resurgence of DIN in a Macworld magazine redesign in the mid '90s. It also appeared in Fast Company a little later. Pool's version (FontFont) came out in '95. The popularity of FF DIN marked a change from the grunge/pomo aesthetic towards modernist revival, along with the rehabilitation of Helvetica.

Carl Crossgrove's picture
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Mikey,
not sure where you're seeing wobbliness; look at the packages tab on that page for cleaner images.

Nina Stössinger's picture
Joined: 19 Jun 2006 - 3:01pm
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"In human history “standard” is just a dare."

True, probably. I just think it's ironic that a "standard face" – and I use the term not in the sense of the font having become a de facto "standard" because it's so popular or something, but in the sense that it was originally introduced/designed as a standard compliant font for certain defined contexts – is now a starting point for so many variations.

But I guess that's human. It reminds me of how here in Switzerland, the original Swiss Army bicycles have become pretty popular, even though they have one gear, they're old, heavy as hell and also uncomfortable. But they're cool for some reason, and people buy, mod and paint them.

Uli Stiehl's picture
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A short legal note:

1) Trademark

The trademark "DIN" was registered at the German Patent Office in 1920.

See the website http://www.din.de, where this is said in German: "1920 DIN wird als eingetragener Verein beim Amtsgericht Berlin gemeldet. Geschäftsstelle ist in der Sommerstraße 4a. Das DIN-Zeichen wird als Warenzeichen beim Patentamt registriert."

2) Design

The design of the DIN typeface is older than 25 years. Therefore according to the German design ("Geschmacksmuster") law this typeface design is already in public domain.

I will not be surprised, when I learn that another ripoff foundry grabs Linotype's clone and sells it as "DIN Ultra-Next".

By the way:

Fontshop tried to grab the trademark "DIN", but did not succeed:

see www.sanskritweb.net/temporary/FF-DIN-1.jpg

and www.sanskritweb.net/temporary/FF-DIN-2.pdf

The above German legal gibberish means that the illegal Fontshop registration of the trademark "DIN" was annulled by the registration office.

Jens Kutílek's picture
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Don't believe anything that Uli posts. He is being dishonest to readers who don't read German, by trying to make his points using false translations.

I won't answer to his arguments in detail because arguing with him isn't worth the effort.

Uli Stiehl's picture
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> Don’t believe anything that Uli posts

Don't believe anything Kutilek posts. As he works for Fontshop, he would get fired, if he admitted that Fontshop had to withdraw the invalid registration.

Here is the English text: "Application withdrawn":

see www.sanskritweb.net/temporary/FF-DIN-1e.jpg

Even Kutilek should be able to understand what this means.

And here is the cancellation history in English:

www.sanskritweb.net/temporary/FF-DIN-2e.pdf

Karsten Luecke's picture
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Joined: 6 Aug 2005 - 8:41am
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First, "FF-DIN-1.jpg" shows that what FS tried to register was a wortmarke (word) while what DIN institute had registered was a bildmarke (logo/image).
Second, according to your link/pdf, the DIN institute had objected to FS's registration (the "widerspruch") so I guess that FS decided to withdraw it ("anmeldung zurückgenommen"). This however does not make FS's application "illegal" as you write, it was just not successful. Business as usual.
Interesting though that the DIN institute registered the bildmarke but forgot to register the wortmarke, isn't it?

(I am not a lawyer.)

erik spiekermann's picture
Joined: 9 Dec 2001 - 9:28pm
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As i was the one who asked Albert "Din" Pool to design FF DIN back in 1995, i need to explain my reasons:
I had noticed a trend to use apocryphal typefaces, i.e. those that don't have a designer in the real sense. DIN was designed by a committee of engineers, first in the 20s, and then again a few times over the years. In the early 60s, Günter Gerhard Lange from Berthold sat on the DIN committee and was responsible for bringing a little more real design into the very technical drawings that had been executed using t-squares and compass only. You can see the Berthold influence in the S and a few other characters, which owe a lot to Akzidenz Grotesk, itself a kind of standard in Germany at the time (and sold as Standard in the US).

The DIN Mittelschrift as released by Adobe/Linotype was a digital version of these rigid engineering drawings. Albert's brief was to take the regular weight and subtly make it a good typeface. He did it so well that it looks exactly like the original, but much better, especially in smaller sizes. Albert also added weights, and that not only made the face usable for designers, but also showed that he is a very good type designer. FF DIN looks as if DIN had always had those weights because Albert didn't let his ego interfere with the job. The new "old" design answered the need for a neutral "undesigned" typeface and has since become a favourite of designers around the world, even in places where nobody connects it with the signs on the German Autobahn.

Akira took a different approach because Albert's interpretation of the original in the public domain could not be improved. He didn't set out to improve the original, but designed his own interpretation. There is no reason why designers shouldn't use one as well as the other – they're different enough.

Uli Stiehl's picture
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k.l.:

>Business as usual. ... (I am not a lawyer.)

I don't think that "business as usual" correctly describes the invalid registration of the acronym DIN. Let's assume, American lawyers try to register the acronyms USA, CIA and FBI as trademarks. Is this "business as usual"? I think that it is "insanity as usual" (I am not a psychiatrist).

Stephen Coles's picture
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Uli - You seem so keen on getting facts straight, but you refuse to spell FontShop correctly. What gives?

Jens Kutílek's picture
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Mr. Stiehl: As he works for Fontshop, he would get fired, if he admitted that Fontshop had to withdraw the invalid registration.

Sorry to disappoint you, but I cannot possibly admit anything about this, because trademarks are not my field of work at FSI.

Now that you have posted English screenshots, you'll surely notice they don't say anything about "grabbing" trademarks, "invalid" or "illegal registrations" (whatever that may be), or registrations "being annulled". Karsten also gave you some hints to "nuances" in wording that you didn't get right.

Uli Stiehl's picture
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Stephen Coles:

> Uli - You seem so keen on getting facts straight, but you refuse to spell FontShop correctly. What gives?

At my own site, I used your spelling

see here www.sanskritweb.net/forgers/barmen.pdf

and see e.g. here www.sanskritweb.net/forgers/sari.pdf

but Typophile contributors don't care

see e.g. here http://www.typophile.com/node/54030

Uli Stiehl's picture
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Kutikek:

> I won’t answer to his arguments in detail because arguing with him isn’t worth the effort.

Stick to what you said.

Joe Pemberton's picture
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Uli and Kutikek, there is no judge or jury here and Typophile has no jurisdiction. So there's no need to create a case or defend one in these forums. That's all I'm going to say on that.

Thanks for the information Erik. And thanks stimuli (Joe) for the Parachute version.

Nina Stössinger's picture
Joined: 19 Jun 2006 - 3:01pm
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"As i was the one who asked Albert “Din” Pool to design FF DIN back in 1995, i need to explain my reasons:"
Wow, Erik, this was super-enlightening! Thanks a lot for sharing.

And I must say I'm sorry I brought up the legalese. :-\

Jens Kutílek's picture
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Call me Jens, or Mr Kutilek if you must. Thank you :)

Jarrod Beglinger's picture
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So, Erik, do you have any thoughts on DIN Next?

Juan M. Guerra Jr.'s picture
Joined: 7 Oct 2008 - 1:31pm
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Too expensive!

Guerrizmo+Design
No man is an island unto himself_John Donne

erik spiekermann's picture
Joined: 9 Dec 2001 - 9:28pm
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I like Din Next, but it has got the wrong name. Just like ITC Garamond was an interesting typeface, but not a Garamond.

Karsten Luecke's picture
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... but also showed that he is a very good type designer.

Not to forget the typographic humor expressed in the addition of oldstyle numerals!

Jeremy Mickel's picture
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I like the rounded version, but I have to say I think the entire Linotype Next series is insane.

Why would you spend $1000 on Avenir, Frutiger, Optima, and now DIN when you probably already have the perfectly good versions?

James Zhou's picture
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>Why would you spend $1000 on Avenir, Frutiger, Optima, and now DIN when you probably already have the perfectly good versions?

I'd say it's just another business strategy for Linotype to dig some people's deep pockets deeper.

The black "a" in the first picture reminds me of Stag Sans while the rounded harks back to a Lineto typeface (I forgot its name).

JamesZ

Nina Stössinger's picture
Joined: 19 Jun 2006 - 3:01pm
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"while the rounded harks back to a Lineto typeface"

Gravur Condensed?

sskylar's picture
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I agree with eriks, its actually a good typeface on its own.

For those interested, I have posted a history of DIN on my blog: http://www.idsgn.org/posts/know-your-type-din/

Skylar
http://www.idsgn.org

Nick Shinn's picture
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Was the original Mittelschrift 1451 entirely composed of straight lines and arcs of circles, making it easy for unskilled letter-makers to reproduce the style?

Matthew Lujan's picture
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"There is no reason why designers shouldn’t use one as well as the other – they’re different enough . . . I like Din Next, but it has got the wrong name.- eriks

"Period." - M Bierut

Mike Diaz's picture
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Crossgrove>>> the bowl of the lowercase a hangs a little too low below the baseline... looks to chubby/wobbly to me. Inktraps are so so too.

Kobayashi’s Axis is much better.

FF Din is still the standard.

Mikey :-)

Dan Gayle's picture
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There is a really good discussion of DIN and its history in "Made with FontFont". I just happened to have read that very article last week, and I highly recommend that people dig it out.

Alockbox's picture
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Fascinating discussion...

Can someone please explain to me what the difference is between:

DIN NEXT (25 Fonts from the Linotype Platinum Collection)
DIN NEXT LT PRO (25 Fonts)

Thank you

Stephen Coles's picture
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Hmm, where are you seeing these two product names? Might be some important context we're missing. There are many definitions of "Pro". Linotype (like Adobe and FontFont) uses it to distinguish products with extra language support, specifically for Central European languages.

Alockbox's picture
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Yes, it appears the Pro indicates language support:

http://www.linotype.com/517415/DINNext-family.html

I can't find details on DIN Next LT Pro, but when I google DIN Next, it's most of the links that come up!

LT could mean Linotype??

Also, they apply the "LT" and "Pro" to the actual font name that shows up in the system instead of just leaving it as DIN Next? Very confusing!

Also, a company a do some work for says their font is FF DIN, on their workstation I found a folder labeled FF Din Font Family...but...then the actual fonts are named "DIN Medium" and "DIN Black" and "DIN Alternate Light"...no FF in sight, and there's 17 not 20.

I'm new to discovering and playing with fonts but I love it. Just find it to be...messy...a lot more than I'm used to in other areas of design.

Stephen Coles's picture
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the actual fonts are named "DIN Medium" and "DIN Black" and "DIN Alternate Light"

Those are indeed FF DIN fonts. FontFont does not append their prefix to the font files.

Alockbox's picture
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Thank you! I guess I will compare to see what are missing, since they have 17...

Bert Vanderveen's picture
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DIN Round is actually very appropriate to several of the original uses of the typeface--where it was "output" by Rapidograph pen (in technical drawings) or router (e.g. signs "engraved" in plastic laminate or stainless steel).

@Nick Shinn: My take is that the ‘template’ lettering you talk about is not part of the DIN-family discussed here, but the type that is commonly known as Isonorm. (I used the MecaNorma transfer-version of that for one of my first letterheads, around 1980.)