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Contributed by Philipp Messner on Apr 13th, 2017. Artwork published in .
David Tartakover: Tartakover (טרטקובר), Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 2011.
Source: Photo: Philipp Messner. License: All Rights Reserved.

David Tartakover: Tartakover (טרטקובר), Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 2011.

Catalog with images and notes on the work of Israeli graphic designer, collector, political activist and artist David Tartakover (*1944).

The text on the cover reads as follows:

David Tartakover was born in Haifa, grew up in Jerusalem and lives in Tel Aviv. At the age of 18 he went to the paratroopers, from there to Bezalel, and at the age of 22 went to London to study graphic design. He returned to Jerusalem, then went to Tel Aviv and settled down to work. Since then he has not stopped. Tartakover is who we are. His work is a mirror that reflects Israeli society and its culture in the last 40 years. The look of our faces. Sometimes as we would like to look, and sometimes as we really do.

The cover features two classics of Hebrew typography. Frank-Rühl (פרנק-ריהל) is the first modern Hebrew typeface, designed by Rafael Frank (1867–1920) and originally issued between 1908 and 1910 by the typefoundry C. F. Rühl in Leipzig. C. F. Rühl was taken over by the H. Berthold AG in Berlin who included the typeface in their groundbreaking catalog of Hebrew and Yiddish typefaces (Katalog hebräischer und jüdischer Schriften der Schriftgießerei H. Berthold AG) from 1924.

Haim (חיים) was designed by Jan Le Witt (1907–1991) and originally produced by the Warsaw based typefoundry Jan Idźkowski i S-ka in 1929 for the Yiddish market. The typeface became very popular for headlines and titles in Palestine in the 1930s. The narrow version of the typeface used on the spine originally was produced by the same company around 1936 without the participation of Le Witt.

On the Linotype website both names of the original designers are misspelled (as “Frank Ruhl” and “Yaacov Haim Lavit”).

Further reading:
— Ittai Joseph Tamari: “Rafael Frank und seine hebräischen Druckschriften”, in: Manfred Unger (ed.): Judaica Lipsiensia (Leipzig 1994), 70–78.
— Stephen Lubell: “Joseph Tscherkassky — Orientalist and Typefounder”, in: Gutenberg-Jahrbuch (1996), 222–239.
— Marian Misiak, “Chaim: owoc wielokulturowej Warszawy”, in: Paneuropa, Kometa, Hel. Szkice z historii projektowania liter w Polsce (Kraków 2015), 76–81. See also this excerpt published on


  • Frank-Rühl
  • Haim




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