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Mechanische Weberei Hahn & Hummel invoice, 1938

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Feb 18th, 2017. Artwork published in
circa 1938
.
    Mechanische-Weberei-Elementar.jpg
    Photo: Florian Hardwig. License: CC BY-NC-SA.

    In the last episode of Weekly Invoice, we’ve seen an example of Grotesk-Pfeiler in use. This week brings us another pretty straightforward invoice design, printed in one color, and used in 1938 by Hahn & Hummel, a mechanical weaving mill in Bautzen, Saxony. Again the letterhead is distinguished by a peculiar all-caps display typeface. Its name is Elementar.

    The geometric semi-slab serif that could pass off as the grandmother of Neville Brody’s Insignia (1990) was issued by the Norddeutsche Schriftgießerei in 1927 — just like Grotesk-Pfeiler. Elementar was also made by the same designer, F. Schultze. Unfortunately, we don’t know a lot about this person. Chances are that the ‘F’ stands for Franz or Fritz, but who knows — maybe it’s a Frida? The Berlin telephone directory for 1927 has more than one hundred entries for F. Schultze, including painters, architects, printers and other potential professions, and this is already assuming that the artist lived in the same city where the foundry was located. Elementar and Grotesk-Pfeiler are the only two typefaces credited to him or her. Neither has been revived so far.

    Typefaces

    • Elementar (Norddeutsche)
    • Koralle

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