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Die Stadt St. Gallen 500 Jahre im Schweizerbund 1454–1954

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Nov 9th, 2019. Artwork published in .
    Die Stadt St. Gallen 500 Jahre im Schweizerbund 1454–1954
    Source: https://www.flickr.com Uploaded to Flickr by Bart Solenthaler and tagged with “alteschwabacher” and “times”. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Cover of a booklet with the program for a ceremony, commemorative play, and folk festival, organized in August 1954 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Sankt Gallen joining the Swiss Confederacy in 1454.

    The red blackletter is some sort of (Alte) Schwabacher. An appropriate choice: Types like this dominated German printing in the late 15th and early 16th century. Most foundries in the German-speaking world had a version. It’s not Nürnberger Schwabacher (1927) by the Swiss foundry Haas, though. C.F. Rühl’s cut come pretty close, but isn’t a cigar either. Most of the digitally available options are a tad more regularized, with a straight middle vertical in G, or a less left-leaning F. The best match I’ve found is Gerhard Helzel’s Alte Schwabacher 20pt, which was digitized from type by Offizin Andersen-Nexö, a Leipzig-based book printer that emerged from the Offizin Drugulin, which in turn continued the type foundry established by Friedrich Nies in 1831. I wonder if this is the same Schwabacher (albeit a different size) as Jan Tschichold used for his 1956 letterhead.

    The black lines are set in caps from Times New Roman. It looks quite classy in letterpres, doesn’t it? Haas produced a foundry version under license from Monotype.

    The seal depicts the heraldic animal of St. Gallen. The bear belongs to the insignia of Saint Gall, the founder and patron saint of the city. Legend has it that Gallus ordered an unexpectedly emerging bear to throw wood into the fire. Then, as a reward, he was given a loaf of bread with the instruction never to return to the Steinach river.

    The letters on the seal are hand-drawn, of course. Around 1900, Otto Hupp designed Numismatisch, a typeface specifically made for reproducing the lettering on such mediaeval seals, coins, and similar items.

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    • Alte Schwabacher
    • Times New Roman

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