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Hch. Wuhrmann invoice, 1941

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Oct 19th, 2016. Artwork published in
circa 1940
    Hch. Wuhrmann invoice, 1941
    Photo: Florian Hardwig. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Posted on the occasion of the release of CJ Dunn’s Dunbar, a contemporary interpretation of Jakob Erbar’s eponymous grotesk (Ludwig & Mayer, 1926). Make sure to read Indra’s accompanying article about early geometric sans serifs, and Stephen’s introduction to CJ Type.

    Erbar-Grotesk here appears in its “natural habitat” — used as a workhorse typeface on a German invoice from the second quarter of the 20th century.

    H(einri)ch Wuhrmann was a large-scale print shop in Freiburg/Breisgau, specializing in carbon (?) copy books for business and accounting. The company is still in existence, now as Wuhrmann Druck & Service GmbH.

    The gotisch used for the header is Jochheim Deutsch, released in 1934 by Wilhelm Woellmer. Such a combination of a blackletter and a geometric sans serif may seem incongruous today, but it actually is quite typical for the mid 1930s/1940s. Jochheim Deutsch, although less stripped and linearized than Element & Co., belongs to the same wave of simplified texturas that were marketed — with nationalistic wording and imagery, in the case of Jochheim Deutsch with oak — as a modernization of the genre, and often shown side by side with faces like Futura in ads and specimens.


    • Erbar-Grotesk
    • Jochheim Deutsch




    Artwork location

    2 Comments on “Hch. Wuhrmann invoice, 1941”

    1. In their eBay shop, allesauspaper shows a set of older invoices by the same company, from the 1920s. The letterheads may be more beautiful, but it’s all lettering, and hence not for Fonts In Use.

      P.S.: The pink “Durchschreibebücher-Fabrik” actually is a typeface, namely the crazy Xylo (B. Krebs, 1924). The smaller bits on the other invoices look like Bernhard-Fraktur.

    2. At the end of his article on the Satz- und Druck-Musterheft 1938, Paul Shaw notes:

      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. […] And when schaftstiefelgrotesks were used, they were often joined to geometric sans serifs in an attempt to project an air of modernity.

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