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Zagen, boren, vijlen – ad for Vickers House

Contributed by Tânia Raposo on Jun 5th, 2013. Artwork published in .
    Zagen, boren, vijlen – ad for Vickers House
    Source: http://www.iconofgraphics.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    … in 1920, [Piet Zwart] got an assignment from the flooring company Vickers House. He made several advertisements for this client. “Zagen, boren, vijlen” [to saw, drill and file] probably is the most iconic of this series. He assembled letters, blanks, and symbols from print houses and played around with them, solving this ‘practical print problem’. This work seems to have been influenced by El Lissitzky’s “About 2 Squares” which had been published by Van Doesburg in 1922. In this pun one single N serves as the final letter of the first three words. — iconofgraphics.com

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    • Aurora-Grotesk

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    1 Comment on “Zagen, boren, vijlen – ad for Vickers House”

    1. Jun 6th, 2013  8:47 am

      This typeface doesn’t necessarily have to be Wotan (unless it was stated somewhere in the imprint?). This design was available from numerous type foundries in the first half of the 20th century. It originates at Wagner & Schmidt, a company that was specialized in selling matrices to other foundries. They called it Neue Moderne Grotesk. Some foundries made slight adjustments or spaced the glyphs differently for casting their version.

      Wotan was the name at Norddeutsche Schriftgießerei, Berlin. Most common version sof the same design are Aurora from Weber, Akzidenz-Grotesk/Normal-Grotesk from Haas, Cairoli from Nebiolo, Edel-Grotesk from Johannes Wagner or Salon-Grotesk from Stempel, to name just a few of more than 20 I know of. Some images on my Flickr.

      It is not available in a really true digitization of all the very diverse styles, maybe for a reason. New interpretations are Dada Grotesk and Scout.

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