Sort of obscure typefaces that are inordinately popular in one country

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Johan Palme's picture
Joined: 23 Jan 2011 - 6:07am
Sort of obscure typefaces that are inordinately popular in one country

I'm wondering if there are any typefaces that you've seen a lot of in your country/city/region, but that barely seem to be known elsewhere?

For instance (maybe because I'm keeping an eye out for it) here in Sweden, Boton seems to be in just about every other ad these days, yet I've never seen it anywhere else.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am

In Denmark, any font with the "totally open" binocular "g".

In Armenia, Sylfaen (for obvious reasons).


Maxim Zhukov's picture
Joined: 8 May 2005 - 11:18am

In USSR that was Literaturnaya (née Lateinisch; H.Berthold, 1901). It was ubiquitous. This is what Allan Hutt, a great typographic expert and a devout communist, wrote about it, in total frustration:

The survival of this De Vinne-style type, from the worst design period of old Imperial Germany, in the premier Socialist country in the latter part of the twentieth century, is a typographical phenomenon as unique as it is deplorable.
Allen Hutt. “A revolution in Russian typography”. Penrose Annual, Volume 61. New York: Hastings House, 1968
Nick Shinn's picture
Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am

I don’t think its pedigree is quite as bad as Hutt suggests.
It’s an Elzevir: upscale, French.
BBS and Linotype had Elzevirs in the early twentieth century, neither deplorable.
But no, never a popular style, and completely out of favor in the West during most of the Soviet era.


In Canada, Rod MacDonald’s revival of Cartier, the first Canadian type design (1967), is often used for Canadiana.

Nick Curtis's picture
Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am

For awhile—the 1950s through the 1980s—Craw Clarendon (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) was reasonably ubiquitous in its association with the U.S. Government.