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Monotype advertisement in Offset 7 (1926)

Contributed by Dan Reynolds on Nov 15th, 2020. Artwork published in .
    Monotype advertisement in Offset 7 (1926)
    Photo: Dan Reynolds. License: All Rights Reserved.

    The seventh issue of the Offset. Buch und Werbekunst magazine – published in 1926 – was dedicated to the Bauhaus. The issue included a school overview-article, written by Walter Gropius, as well as a László Moholy-Nagy article on contemporary typography, a piece by Gunta Stölzl about the Bauhaus weaving studio, another by Oskar Schlemmer about work for the school’s stage, and articles on letterform design by Josef Albers and Herbert Bayer. The Bauhaus portion’s or the magazine – which differed greatly from the magazine’s normal appearance – were designed by the Bauhaus’s Druckerei und Reklame-Abteilung [printing and advertising department]. I assume that means that the issue was designed by Moholy-Nagy and Bayer, etc. The cover (not shown) was designed by Joost Schmidt.

    The Bauhäusler also designed the ads running in the issue. There was was one for the Leipzig typefoundry J. G. Schelter & Giesecke’s Koralle typeface, and another for Monotype. The Monotype ad seems to have been composed with Schelter & Giesecke type, rather than with Monotype fonts. The fonts used were Breite fette Grotesk and Breite halbfette Grotesk (at least). The ad has a design credit on it: the word “bauhaus” appears in all-lowercase type at the top-right corner of the page.

    Typefaces

    • Breite fette Grotesk
    • Breite halbfette Grotesk

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    4 Comments on “Monotype advertisement in Offset 7 (1926)”

    1. Thanks for sharing, Dan!

      The Bauhaus obviously didn’t like the eszett, see Giess, gross, Strasse.

    2. I wonder if the typefaces had an ß in their fonts. I assume that they just have. There is no ß in the sample specimens that the Fonts In Use typeface entries link to. In the 1890s, it does not seem to me to have been 100% settled whether the ß was going to really be a part of ‘Antiqua’ typography for the German language. I’d be shocked if they did not add an ß eventually, though. I have the feeling that at least by the 1910s and the 1920s, it was a standard thing in ‘roman’ type.

    3. A very good point! In Emil Wetzig’s Ausgewählte Druckschriften in Alphabeten, Breite fette Grotesk is indeed shown without ß, while this character is included in the glyph set for the younger Berthold Block on the opposite page.

      I can confirm that Schelter & Giesecke eventually had added the ß to the typeface. It’s shown in their Plakatschriften specimen from 1928. The character had been added to Breite halbfette Grotesk already before 1916. I’d assume that they cut an ß for the fett at the same time (after all S&G loved the character so much that they pioneered the inclusion of its capital form).

      Does Breite fette Grotesk appear on other pages of the magazine, too? If there’s an ß, we’d know that its omission in the Bauhaus-designed ad was a conscious decision. But maybe they were simply working with old type – it’s not like there were automatic updates to metal fonts!

    4. I don’t have pictures of every page from the issue, but I had a look at what I do have (probably most of the pages?). The text typeface of the magazine is a serif typeface; it is probably the same series the magazine normally used. All the article headlines are in sans serif type, but those headlines are also set all-caps. There is a full-page Bauhausbücher add with U&lc text in sans serif type – also in multiple weights – but it does not seem that any of the texts are written so that they could even have ß in them.

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