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Deutschland Plakate specimen, Berthold (ca. 1934)

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Jan 11th, 2018. Artwork published in
circa 1934
    Source: Uploaded to Flickr by Letterform Archive and tagged with “deutschland” and “fanfare”. License: All Rights Reserved.

    A3-size poster for a porcelain exhibition by Sorauer Porzellan A.-G., a company established in 1888 in Sorau, Prussia (today Żary, Poland) and destroyed in February 1945, shortly before the end of the war.

    In-use examples from Berthold’s poster specimen for Deutschland, released in 1933–35 in five styles including an uncommon oblique. These exemplary uses show the schmalfett (bold condensed, 1933) which was available in metal in sizes from 6 to 96pt, and larger sizes in Plakadur or wood. Together with Potsdam, Tannenberg, National, Element and others, Deutschland was part of the surge of simplified blackletters issued in the first years of Nazi Germany. Many of them were named and advertised with a nationalist background, and the specimens often are littered with propaganda.

    The secondary typeface printed in red (“Ausstellung”, “Kempinski Weinen”) is Fanfare. As Erik Spiekermann notes, it was designed by a Jewish designer, Louis Oppenheim (1879–1936), in 1927. The sans serif caps are from Berthold-Grotesk.

    Source: Uploaded to Flickr by Letterform Archive and tagged with “deutschland”. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Poster ad for “tax-exempt sparkling wines” by M. Kempinski & Co. The wine company was founded by German-Jewish merchant Berthold Kempinski (1843–1910) in 1862. In 1937, a few years after this specimen was published, Kempinski’s son-in-law Richard Unger (1866–1947) was forced to sell the company and emigrate to the US. As a graphic sign of this “Aryanization”, the star in the logo (still visible on the labels shown here) was replaced by grapes. In 1941, the Jewish name Kempinski was changed to F. W. Borchardt.

    Source: Uploaded to Flickr by Letterform Archive and tagged with “deutschland”. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Cover of the specimen folder

    Source: Uploaded to Flickr by Letterform Archive and tagged with “deutschland”. License: All Rights Reserved.

    This specimen of Deutschland’s Plakat (poster) sizes contains twelve folded A3 and A2 sheets. Unfortunately, several of them are littered with Nazi propaganda — see the quote by Adolf Hitler, or the ad for the Nationalsozialistische Landpost, the organ of the Reichs-Nährstand, announcing a special “Blood and Soil” issue of the Völkischer Beobachter.


    • Deutschland
    • Fanfare
    • Berthold-Grotesk




    Artwork location

    2 Comments on “Deutschland Plakate specimen, Berthold (ca. 1934)”

    1. Yaronimus says:
      Apr 16th, 2018  9:35 pm

      this is fascinating, and the typeface is beautiful.

      i would appreciate if you can help me find a similar font or a type specimen containing all the characters. i want to use it for a student work.



    2. Apr 17th, 2018  8:29 am

      Hi Yaronimus,

      there is a digitization by Gerhard Helzel, spanning 3 weights plus a (newly added?) licht (outlined and shaded) style. This information was missing from our typeface page. I have added it just now. Here is a showing from his specimen catalog:

      Single styles are €25. The mager (light) is €20. A bundle of mager and halbfett is €40. Helzel’s website may look a tad unconventional, but ordering is pretty straightforward. Send him an email (he speaks English) and pay via Paypal.

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