Launched in January 1930 as a quarterly supplement to weekly trade magazine Advertising & Selling, Advertising Arts helped introduce Modernism to mainstream American design, and specifically advocated for the “Streamline” style that was associated with industrial design. Lucian Bernhard contributed a variety of content to the publication, including an article on textile design and this April 1930 cover which employs his Bernhard Gothic, released a few months earlier.
Bernhard also showed off Bernhard Gothic in this two-page ad for Bartlett Orr Press.
The International Advertising & Design DataBase hosts complete digitized issues of several Advertising Arts issues.
Bernhard’s double ‘A’ logo was not solely used on this cover; it reappears in the colophon of the issue from October 1930.
This is pure speculation, of course, but isn’t it nice to think that Lucian Bernhard was inspired by Herbert Thannhaeuser’s Adastra (1928) for his Advertising Arts logo (1930), which in turn prompted Thannhaeuser to add a more flowing version of his typeface design as Schwung-Adastra (1931, known as Royal abroad)?
Stempel’s Adastra specimen prominently features the split-stroke ‘A’ on the cover. Having emigrated to the US in 1923, Bernhard probably kept track of the German type scene — several of his designs were issued by the Bauersche Gießerei in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Also, Adastra was included in Modern Alphabets, a booklet first published in New York in 1930, presenting fifty European typefaces selected by Melbert B. Cary Jr., president of The Continental Typefounders Association.
As an accomplished graphic artist, Bernhard didn’t rely on one specific typeface design to come up with such a solution, though, and in fact Adastra was preceded by other related inline faces, e.g. Atrax (Heinrich Jost for Bauer, 1926) or Metropolis licht (Willy Schwerdtner for Stempel, 1928, known as Homewood in the US).
Whether there indeed was some transatlantic cross-pollination going on or not, one thing’s for sure: These decorated inline/split-stroke faces were very much en vogue at the end of the Roaring Twenties.
Contributed by Florian Hardwig