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Jan Tschichold’s letterhead, 1956

Photo by Florian Hardwig on Flickr. Imported to Fonts In Use via machine tags. Photo taken on Sep 1, 2013. Artwork published in 1956.
Source: Uploaded to Flickr by Florian Hardwig and tagged with “alteschwabacher”. License: All Rights Reserved.

I was surprised to see that in the mid-1950s, Jan Tschichold used Alte Schwabacher as the typeface for his personal letterhead. This letter from October 1956 is addressed to Rudolf Hostettler. The year before, Tschichold moved back to Basel to work for Hoffmann-La Roche.

None of the digitally available Alte Schwabachers is a perfect match. The only digital versions with old-style figures are IHOF’s distressed SchwarzKopf and RMU’s Schwabacher, but they are different.

Spotted in the exhibition Einige von Hand geschriebene Briefe (“Several letters written by hand”), with a selection from Jost Hochuli’s private collection of c. 400 letters, including items sent from and to Walter Käch, Paul Standard, Gerrit Noordzij and several others. On display during Tÿpo St. Gallen 2013 (see the invitation as pdf).

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