Berlin: Verlag der Graphischen Monatsschrift “Deutscher Drucker”, 1938
ROMANKnock-outWalbaum-Kursiv (twice)NormandePlastica (similar to Umbra)Berthold-Grotesk-KursivCity halbfett and fettBayer-Kursiv halbfettRoyal-Grotesk
BLACKLETTERWalbaum-FrakturBismark-FrakturTrump-Deutsch (twice)Deutschland-Kursiv (a Schrägschrift or inclined textura)
ROMANBodoni-Kursiv (5)CityBerthold-Grotesk (4)NormandeAristonWalbaum-AntiquaWalbaum-KursivBLACKLETTERTrump-Deutsch (3)Bismarck-Fraktur (3)Deutschland-KursivMainzer-Fraktur
Genzmer’s article “Der Gebrauchstypograph Thannhaeuser” (The Commercial Typographer Thannhaeuser) is a proﬁle of Herbert Thannhaeuser (1898–1963), graphic designer and type designer. It is appropriately set in his Parcival-Antiqua (Schelter & Giesecke, 1926), a neoclassical typeface. The examples of his work utilize a number of faces, only a few of which I can identify: Baskerville, Memphis and Mundus Antiqua. The only blackletter is Deutschschrift and it appears once.
“Asymmetrie oder Mittelachse?” (Asymmetry or Middle-Axis [Symmetry]?) by Genzmer is as much a burning question of the time as fraktur vs. roman, though it is surprising to see it out in the open in Nazi Germany, especially as late as 1938. Jeremy Aynsley, in Graphic Design in Germany 1890–1945, writes, “A ﬁnal gauge of the impact of the new typography [which advocated asymmetrical layout] can be taken from the adverse reaction it prompted…..” (p. 185) He then goes on to quote (pp. 185–188) from a 1937 Penrose Annual article by Gustav Stresow complaining that modernist typography was too radical a break with the past, that it failed to take into account “the power of tradition”. Stresow defended the return to fraktur (meaning all blackletter) as an essential aspect of the German language. Aynsley does not mention Satz- und Druck-Musterheft in his text nor is it (or Fritz Genzmer) in his bibliography.
The article is set entirely in Gotenburg (D. Stempel, 1935), Friedrich Heinrich, a textura that is simpliﬁed but not mechanical like a schaftstiefelgrotesk. The ten accompanying pairs of illustrations show texts set both symmetrically and asymmetrically for an objective comparison of their merits. Both roman and blackletter typefaces are used: Stempel Garamond, Bodoni, Stempel Sans (also known as Neuzeit Grotesk), Memphis, Mundus Antiqua; Magere Gotenburg and Schmale Tannenberg, a schaftstiefelgrotesk. Genzmer says, “Asymmetrie also ist Leben, Bewegung, Schwung; Symmetrie Ruhe und Beharrung.” (“Asymmetry is thus life, motion, verve; symmetry is rest and equilibrium.”) He describes the debate over which is more appropriate to modern times, thusly,
Asymmetrie gegen Mittelachse, Bewegung gegen Ruhe, eines aus der Zeit geboren, das andere verwurzelt in beschaulichen Bezirken ruhigerer Zeitläufe. Was steht dem Sinn und den Wünschen unserer Generation näher? Sind die Argumente, die für die asymmetrische Satzgestaltung sprechen, stark genug, um ihre form zu rechtfertigen? Ist uns Modernen auch die Mittelachse noch erträglich, vielleicht, weil unser Sehnen aus der Zeit der Unruhe wieder zur Ruhe drängt? Wenn nämlich nicht alles trägt, haben wir schon den ersten Schritt auf dem Wege zurück zu ihr getan. Oder ist der Odem unserer Zeit so stark, daß unser Aderschlag in allen Außerungen den gleichen Rhythmus hat? Die objektive Gegenüberstellung unsere Beispiele kann vielleicht die Antwort darauf geben.
Asymmetry versus symmetry, motion versus rest; one born out of its time, the other rooted in the placid districts of the calmer courses of time. What is closer to the mind and wishes of our generation? Are the arguments advocating asymmetrical design strong enough to justify its form? Is symmetry still tolerable for us as modern people, perhaps because a time of unrest has made us crave tranquility again? Because, if all of this does not give way, we have already made the ﬁrst step on the way back to it. Or is the spirit of our time so strong that our pulse, in all of its expressions, has the same rhythm? The objective comparison of our examples might be able to provide an answer to this.
Genzmer concludes by asking the readers of Satz- und Druck-Musterheft to weigh in with their opinions on the subject. Perhaps their responses appear in the 1939 issue.
Willi Mengel wrote articles for Gebrauchsgraphik, Archiv für Druck und Papier, Druck, Papier und Druck, Typographische Monatsblätter and other publications well into the 1970s. He was also the author of Ottmar Mergenthaler and the Printing Revolution (Brooklyn: Mergenthaler Linotype Company, 1954) and Druckschriften der Gegenwart: Klassiﬁziert nach DIN 16518 (Stuttgart: Blersch, 1966). In Satz- und Druck-Musterheft 1938 he contributed three articles. The ﬁrst is “Die Eigenwerbung des Buchdruckers” (The Self-Promotion of the Printer). Its text is set in Bodoni with title in Wallau. The examples are set in a mix of faces, many of them scripts. The combinations are: Allegro and Candida; National and Erbar-Grotesk; Skizze and Tempo; Allegro and Welt-Antiqua (a square serif face like Memphis); Altenburger-Gotisch and Erbar-Grotesk; Welt-Antiqua and Skizze; and, by themselves, National and National Schräg. National is a schaftstiefelgrotesk and its pairing with Erbar, a geometric sans serif, reinforces my view that such faces were seen by their designers as modernized blackletters, suitable for those who wanted to maintain “Germanness” while working in the new typographic style of the time.
“Der Bilder-Umbruch in der Zeitung” (Picture Composition in Newspapers) by Mengel is reprinted from the March 1937 issue of Deutscher Drucker. It is in this article that a photograph of Nazi party members marching with flags appears. The layout is by Walter Zahn. The text is set in Baskerville with title in Wallau. (Wallau appears over and over again in Satz- und Druck-Musterheft 1938, but never in the later “German” version with revised capitals.) The newspaper examples, not surprisingly, are all set in various frakturs. However, some of the article titles are in Futura and Fanfare (1927), a heavy, expressionistic display face by Louis Oppenheim (1879–1936) which inhabits the middle ground between textura and sans serif.
Mengel’s third article is “April… der macht, was er will!” (April … Does its Worst!). Once again it is set in Baskerville with Wallau for the title. An unidentiﬁed italic is used for the subtitle. The sample designs are all in either various blackletters or typewriter fonts with the exception of some in Futura.
The anonymous J.W. is the author of “Der Zeitschriftenumschlag als Werbefaktor” (Magazine Covers as an Advertising Vehicle). It is set in Baskerville with Wallau for the title. (This must have been the default style of Satz- und Druck- Musterheft, a blend of blackletter and roman.) The sample designs are in Bodoni, blackletter (some handlettering, but also National) as well as various sans serifs (some handlettering alongside Futura). The captions to the illustrations are set in Futura.
Rudolf Franke (brother of Karl Franke? see below), wrote “Das Photo in der Akzidenz” (Photos in Jobbing Work). The title and text are set in a Venetian Oldstyle. The samples are set in the same Venetian Oldstyle, Super-Grotesk (a Futura clone), Splendor (a script), and Fette Fraktur.
Karl Franke (1894–1952), a proponent of the New Typography (See http://wiedler.ch/felix/books/story/387 which traces the history of Typographische Mitteilungen from 1930 to 1933), contributed “Typographische Korrektheit und Deutscher Stil” (Typographical Correctness and German Style). It is set entirely in Wallau. The typography, by Franke, is beautifully done using a light weight of the typeface with generous leading. The samples are set in a mixture of blackletter and roman: Claudius, Kleist Fraktur, Wilhelm Klingsporschrift, Offenbach, Wallau, and Kurrentschrift; and Orpheus and Tiemann-Antiqua. The typefaces are all from Gebr. Klingspor.
(See http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/olympics/, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Owens and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Metcalfe.)
The title is set in Stempel Garamond with the subtitle in a baroque fraktur (Breitkopf Fraktur?). The text is set entirely in the same fraktur. The captions are set in Linotype Garamond Italic (based on Stempel Garamond). However, the images rarely include any blackletter. The posters, including several by Ludwig Hohlwein, are handlettered in classical roman capitals, fat faces or sans serifs. The brochures and other publications are set almost entirely in Futura (an unidentiﬁed seriffed roman is used for one written in Polish) with one exception. The covers of Olympiaheft are all handlettered (?) in the schaftstiefelgrotesk style. (Also see covers at http://www.flickr.com/photos/vintage_album/433898885/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/vintage_album/433898883/) Programs for the Games are entirely in Futura. Stationery is in both an Old English (perhaps Manuskript-Gotisch or Caslon-Gotisch) and an unidentiﬁed seriffed roman. Finally, the mastheads of the different language versions of the Olympic Games News Service vary with most in an Old English, some in italic, and some in a roman. It is clear that the posters and publications intended for a non-German audience are in roman while those for Germans are in blackletter. However, the signage lettering that is shown is all Futura or a Futura clone.
The contribution from the Meisterschule für Deutschlands Buchdrucker in München is from February 1937. It focuses on “Deutsche Druckschrift”—the introductory text (set in Walbaum-Antiqua with Trump-Deutsch for the title) ends with “Heil Hitler!” The work uses Walbaum-Fraktur, Manuskript-Gotisch, Trump-Deutsch, Ganz Grobe Gotisch (a chunky textura by F.H.E. Schneidler), Janson, an unidentiﬁed fat face and Futura. Georg Trump, designer of Trump-Deutsch, was a student of Schneidler’s. He was the director of the Meisterschule für Deutschlands Buchdrucker after Renner was dismissed by the Nazis. His tenure lasted from 1934 to 1953.
The article on the Buchdrucke-Lehranstalt in Leipzig, in celebration of its ﬁftieth anniversary, touts the school’s history. The text, set in Zentenar (as is the title and the captions), concludes with the exhortation, “Heil Hitler!” The work is set in a limited mix of blackletter and roman from Bauersche Giesserei: Weiss-Gotisch, Weiss-Antiqua, Weiss Initials and Futura. The Weiss faces are by E.R. Weiss (1875–1943), one of the leading German book and type designers of the pre-World War II era. (See http://www.klingspor-museum.de/KlingsporKuenstler/Schriftdesigner/Weiss/ERWeiss.pdf and the forthcoming book by Gerald Cinamon.)
The examples of book design from Die Buchgewerbliche Abteilung der Gewerbeschule Zwickau (SA) show Akzidenz-Grotesk, Stempel Sans, Wilhelm-Klingsporschrift and Metropolis. The latter is an Art Deco face designed by W. Schwerdtner (D. Stempel, 1928). The page about Die Städt. Handwerkerschule Breslau does not include any samples. The text is set in Zentenar with subtitles in a fat face (possibly Fette Antiqua). Neither does the page for the Arno Schmeisser Gewerbeschule Zwickau (SA). Its text is set in Wilhelm-Klingsporschrift combined with handlettered roman. A swastika hovers behind the heading, “Saar-Wettbewerb 1934” and the acronym N.S.L.B. (Nationalsozialistische Lehrerbund / National Socialist Teachers League) is emphasized. (Wikipedia says, “After the Nazi takeover of power in 1933 the Nazi Party validated the NSLB as the sole organization of teachers in the German Reich. In July 1935 the NSLB was merged with the existing organization of lecturers to form the
Nationalsozialistischer Deutscher Dozentenbund (NSDDB) (National Socialist German University Lecturers League).”
It should be remembered that the typefaces in Satz- und Druck-Musterheft are all metal, either foundry or Linotype. Those that are shown in the school sections represent those that each school’s print shop had in stock.
This rest of this post is a census of the typefaces used in the advertisements in Satz- und Druck-Musterheft 1938. Many of them are identiﬁed in captions, but most are not. I have relied on the Encyclopedia of Typefaces by W. Pincus Jaspert, W. Turner Berry and A.F. Johnson (London: Cassell, 2008) and other English-language sources, but they are remarkably deﬁcient when it comes to German typefaces. Unfortunately, I don’t have a copy of Genzmer’s book from the 1930s. That would be the perfect source for this project.
Leitgedanke bei Schaffung de Gotenburg war: Deutscher Wertarbeit zu leisten.
Wir sind der Überzeugung, in der Gotenburg eine neue gotische Schrift geschaffen zu haben, die nicht nur heute als gegenwartsnah empfunden wird, sondern auch für die Zukunft eine hohe Leistung deutscher Schriftkunst darstellt und bleibenden Wert hat. Sie steht auf dem Grunde der Überlieferung und ist zugleich ein neuzeitlicher Ausdruck des gotischen Schriftstils.
Gotenburg die echt deutsche Schrift.
The main idea behind the design of Gotenburg was to achieve high-class German workmanship.
We believe that we have created a new blackletter with Gotenburg which we perceive as timely for today. It also demonstrates the great achievement of German typeface design for the future and will be a typeface of permanent value.
It is based on tradition and, at the same time, a modern expression of the blackletter style. Gotenburg, the genuine German typeface.
Gotenburg is a simpliﬁed textura, but it is not a schaftstiefelgrotesk.
Mergenthaler Setzmaschinen-Fabrik GmbH, commonly known as German Linotype, provides the largest showing of typefaces with a page each for the following blackletters: Linotype Deutsche Werkschrift, Linotype-Unger-Fraktur, Linotype-Breitkopf-Fraktur, Linotype-Luthersche-Fraktur, Linotype-Tannenberg, Linotype-Heinz-König-Schmalschrift (a schwabacher), Linotype-Koch-Fraktur, Linotype-Ehmcke-Schwabacher; and a page each for the following romans: Linotype-Original-Baskerville, Linotype-Garamond (Stempel Garamond not Garamond no. 3), Linotype-Bodoni, Linotype-Ratio-Lateina [sic], Linotype-Neue-Romanisch (Times Roman), Linotype-Excelsior and Linotype-Memphis. The text introducing the showings is set in Linotype-Unger-Fraktur.
sans serif handlettering (2)
Weiss-Antiqua with Kursiv
an unidentiﬁed egyptian (1)
an unidentiﬁed egyptian italic (1)
an unidentiﬁed condensed egyptian (1)
an unidentiﬁed Englische Schreibschrift (1)
an unidentiﬁed script (1)
It is quite evident that blackletter and roman typefaces not only co-existed in German graphic design in 1938, but that they were consciously paired. Schaftstiefelgrotesks, although promoted heavily by the typefoundries, took a backseat to more traditional frakturs and texturas, both older designs and new ones such as Kleist-Fraktur and Zentenar. And when schaftstiefelgrotesks were used, they were often joined to geometric sans serifs in an attempt to project an air of modernity. Geometric sans serifs, especially Futura, continued to thrive. Among seriffed faces, the most popular were Bodoni and Baskerville.