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Náměstí Republiky sign, Pardubice

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Sep 5th, 2021.
    Náměstí Republiky sign, Pardubice
    Source: www.flickr.com Ondrej Jób. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Pardubice is a city in the Czech Republic, about 100 kilometers east of Prague. At some point in time, a futuristic minded person decided that Churchward Design was an appropriate choice for the official sign at Náměstí Republiky, or Republic Square. The Bauhaus-y sans with the signature counter in B is the work of Joseph Churchward, drawn in New Zealand and released in 1970. It here is used in two lines of different size, in all caps, with custom diacritics.

    I wonder whether this is a unique choice especially made for this major square in the city center, or whether it’s a leftover from a larger sign system. A quick search on Google Street View suggests the former: most of the modern signs in the neighborhood are in DIN 1451 (and Engschrift), and some older enamel signs show lettering in squarish bold condensed sans serif caps.

    The picture was taken by Ondrej Jób of Setup Type in 2016 for his commendable Type Atlas project, in which documents “daily typographic finds and treasures”.

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    3 Comments on “Náměstí Republiky sign, Pardubice

    1. I’ve been through Pardubice railway station quite a few times! I’m not sure when the next time will be, however, with the current situation!

      Probably the nearest I got to the city was vicariously, watching the Velká Pardubická steeplechase – about which I found out via Valérie Čižmárová’s “Žokej” (“Jockey”) – on the television in my room during my week-long stay at the Hotel Garni in Brno back in October 2018.

      “Žokej” was something of an anomaly in the recording career of Valérie Čižmárová, being recorded at the Dejvice studio in March 1974 to the accompaniment of Karel Vlach and his Orchestra during the sessions for her eponymous album referenced in my contribution to Fonts In Use, but held back for single release for a couple of years or so.

      Sadly, on looking at the Filmová Místa site on film locations in the Czech Republic, Náměstí Republiky wasn’t one of the locations for the film from 1971 Dívka na koštěti (“Girl On A Broomstick”) starring Petra Černocká – also featured in one of my contributions – which was largely shot in Pardubice.

      My being here at the Churchward Design section is a bit of a build-up to another Valérie Čižmárová-related font use submission, BTW!

    2. Subsequent to that it was thanks to Filmová Místa that I could connect the other equine-related song by Valérie Čižmárová, apart from “Žokej”, recorded on 6th March 1974, the stand-out track “Koňskou dráhou” (“On The Horse Tram”) with the Střelecký Ostrov in Prague, as can be seen and heard at this post at my still-quite-new presence on Tumblr.

    3. Although it didn’t quite make it as a full font use contribution, which I can quite understand why, I might add, here, the opening caption from Valérie Čižmárová’s performance of the song “Věřím” (“I Believe”) on the Slovak television show Interparáda č. 9 (“Interparáda No. 9”) on 15th August 1974, which was set in Churchward Design with háčeks/carons and acute accents added, these being clearly different from those featured on that sign.

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