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Wrocław street signs

Photo(s) . Imported from Flickr on May 24, 2016.
    Source: Uploaded to Flickr by isoglosse and tagged with “optima”. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Ulica Bernardyńska, Stare Miasto (Old town)

    The most recent series of street signs in Wrocław, Poland uses Optima and Frutiger. Judging from these (few) samples, one could assume that the typeface — just like the colors — indicate a certain district: Hermann Zapf’s serifless Roman is used for the old town, Adrian Frutiger’s sans for the Świdnica suburb.

    There are also many other older signs still in use, in a wide range of styles. See several of them in Christopher Bergmann’s Flickr album.

    Source: Christopher Bergmann. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Ulica Ducha Świętego

    Source: Christopher Bergmann. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Ulica Tadeusza Kościuszki / Plac Muzealny, Przedmieście Świdnickie (Świdnica suburb)

    Source: Christopher Bergmann. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Ulica Hugona Kołłątaja, featuring the elusive double ł.


    • Optima
    • Frutiger



    Artwork location

    3 Comments on “Wrocław street signs”

    1. Sep 22nd, 2016  12:41 pm

      A similar design featuring Optima — also white against brown, with the district’s name on a red stripe underneath — is used in Warsaw:

      Photo: Elena Veguillas (CC-BY-NC)

    2. Sep 24th, 2016  1:55 pm
      The optima used seems to be the optima nova version… the flare on the “a” gives it away.
    3. Sep 24th, 2016  7:31 pm

      Choo, thank you for taking a close look and your suggestion, it’s appreciated. I’m not convinced, though. Attached is a comparison of a few key letters in Linotype’s Optima Medium (left) and Optima nova Medium (right). As far as I can tell, the letterforms on the street signs are closer to the former.

      Optima Medium vs. Optima Nova Medium

      By the way, the ogonek (ę) in Wrocław is different from the one in Warsaw. Neither is a match for the Optimae as currently sold by Linotype, be it nova or vetera.

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