Bernhard Gothic is the typeface chosen for the book jacket of German Democracy at Work. Designed by Lucian Bernhard as his interpretation of the modernist sans serif and issued by ATF between 1929 and 1931, Bernhard Gothic is warmer and livelier than Futura, Elegant-Grotesk, etc. It shares the angled terminals with Kabel and the spurless forms for b d g m n p q with Semplicità, and is further distinguished by curved strokes (see y) and subtly flared stems.
Born as Emil Kahn in Stuttgart, Germany in 1883, the designer had moved to Berlin at the age of 18, initially with the aim to become an actor, and took on a new name with a more urbane ring: Lucian Bernhard. Under the mentorship of Edmund Edel, he quickly turned to the graphic arts, and established ties with the Hollerbaum & Schmidt printing office. In 1903, at the age of 20, he set up his own studio, and pioneered the Sachplakat with commissions from engineering company Bosch, shoe retailer Stiller, cigarette brand Manoli, and others. After a lecture tour through the USA in 1923, Bernhard decided to stay in New York. While his earlier typeface designs starting with Bernhard-Antiqua were released with the Flinsch and Bauer foundries in Frankfurt, many of his later designs were produced by ATF. In addition to Bernhard Gothic, this included Fashion, Modern, and Tango.
After democracy in Germany was abolished in 1933, Bernhard’s business partner in Berlin, Fritz Rosen, escaped the Nazi persecution and emigrated to England. His sponsor and friend Edmund Edel likewise was put under critical scrutiny by the Völkischer Beobachter, and died in 1934. Bernhard supported Hans Sachs, a poster collector and publisher of Das Plakat, who had to flee to New York. Bernhard didn’t return to Germany after 1945. He devoted himself to fine arts, and died in New York in 1972. Read more about Lucian Bernhard (in German) and see some of his work on the Tsurikrufn! website.