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H. Berthold AG letterhead, 1961

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Dec 21st, 2015. Artwork published in
circa 1960
    Collection Thomas Maier. License: All Rights Reserved.

    From back when it was usual to address gentlemen only. Also note that the typewritten text doesn’t use the eszett. A lowercase ‘o’ is used in place of zero.

    This letter accompanied a specimen of Akzidenz-Grotesk, sent to a printing plant in Karlsruhe which, unlike the H. Berthold AG, is still in existence. It is interesting to see that the Stuttgart branch of the “type foundry and brass rule factory” used a blackletter for their identity. The letterhead was likely designed some years before 1961, see the updated board of directors in the footer. In the 1950s and 1960s, this genre communicated tradition rather than reaction or provocation, and could very well serve as the “public face” of a type foundry.

    Trump-Deutsch (1936) was already 25 years old at this point. This Gotisch was Georg Trump’s only blackletter design, and his second realized typeface after City (1930). While these two early families were released with Berthold, all his subsequent work, from Schadow Antiqua (1938) to Mauritius (1968), was published by the C.E. Weber foundry. Georg Trump died on this day 30 years ago.

    Collection Thomas Maier. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Collection Thomas Maier. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Like the letterhead, the rubber stamp combines Trump-Deutsch and Walbaum-Kursiv.

    As Indra Kupferschmid puts it, Trump-Deutsch and Walbaum make for a “perfectly fitting and little surprising combination for something German. Not that this particular one was a classic combo, but a strict roman and a blackletter is not something rare, and these two typefaces from the Berthold catalog combine very well. They are a good representation for where classic German mass taste in type was before mid-century modernism and outside of vernacular lettering.”


    • Trump Deutsch
    • Berthold Walbaum




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