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The Soviet Chess School by Alexander Kotov, Mikhail Yudovich

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Mar 14th, 2021. Artwork published in .
    The Soviet Chess School by Alexander Kotov, Mikhail Yudovich 1
    Source: https://allegro.pl Allegro. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Cover of the English-language edition of Soviet Chess School by Alexander Kotov and Mikhail Yudovich, translated by Lev Kurilov and published by Raduga Publishers in Moscow in 1983.

    The typography appears to combine two similar interpretations of De Vinne. The authors’ names are the easy part: They are set in Hawthorn by Mike Daines, released by Letraset in 1968 in a single weight.

    The bolder style used for the title looks like a member of the Basta series, started by Georg Salden in 1972. At least that’s the only typeface in this genre with such an angled e that I’m aware of. The heaviest weights named 3.6 and 3.9 come particularly close: In addition to the e, details like the s/S with long, pointed serifs or the t with flat top are a match, too. Basta has a ball terminal on the lowercase c. However, its uppercase C has the same form as seen here, so maybe the c was redrawn to match the C (and the c in Hawthorn). The T with upward-pointing serifs (like in Hawthorn, but unlike in Basta) could be explained in the same way. The descending v and t, the shortened h ascender, as well as the o’s with the knight pieces in place of counters are obviously modified. That’s why I tend to say it’s lettering based on Basta. In any case, Salden’s design comes closer than Brendel’s De Vinne Serial 7, which is digitally available as (TS) Denver (Serial) Black, and might have been around already in 1983, too. I can’t rule out the possibility that the title lettering is a manual extrapolation of Hawthorn. In that case, the similarities to Basta would be coincidental.

    Basta was originally developed for the GST-Kreis, a subscription model with new display typefaces added on a monthly basis. These were exclusive to the members – a number of phototypesetting companies. TypeManufactur’s digital Basta focuses on the text styles. It has Leicht, Buch, and halbfett weights, each with matching Kursiv styles (and roman small caps for the two lighter weights), plus a fett. Its design is different from the original numbered Bastas.

    GST-Basta 3.9, the heaviest weight of the Basta series, with swash alternates. Shown in a catalog by German phototypesetting company Stulle from 1985.
    Photo: Florian Hardwig. License: CC BY-NC-SA.

    GST-Basta 3.9, the heaviest weight of the Basta series, with swash alternates. Shown in a catalog by German phototypesetting company Stulle from 1985.

    The Soviet Chess School by Alexander Kotov, Mikhail Yudovich 3
    Source: https://archiwum.allegro.pl Allegro. License: All Rights Reserved.

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    • Hawthorn
    • Basta Display

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