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Junge spanische Maler, Kunsthalle Basel (1959)

Contributed by Philipp Messner on Jun 24th, 2021. Artwork published in .
    Armin Hofmann, Junge spanische Maler – Kunsthalle Basel, letterpress / linocut, 128×90.5 cm.
    Plakatsammlung der Schule für Gestaltung Basel, CH-000957-X 38398. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Armin Hofmann, Junge spanische Maler – Kunsthalle Basel, letterpress / linocut, 128×90.5 cm.

    Poster by Armin Hofmann for an exhibition of “young Spanish painters” at the Kunsthalle Basel at the end of 1959.

    Hofmann’s poster was printed at the Buchdruckerei des Verbandes Schweizerischer Konsumvereine (VSK) in Basel using Akzidenz-Grotesk schmalfett – as the former Bücher-Grotesk halbfett by Berthold was called from about 1956 [Reynolds]. However in the poster sizes, it was not only the name that changed: For the sizes supplied in wood and plastic (Plakadur) the ratio of ascender- to x-height also was significantly modified around that time (see below).

    The letter c in “spanische” is remarkable. It is unclear whether this is an alternative form that was supplied as such, or rather a modification that the designer himself made to the letter material.

    Berthold’s Akzidenz-Grotesk schmalfett poster type (6–32 Cicero).
    Source: https://www.flickr.com Stephen Coles. License: CC BY-NC-SA.

    Berthold’s Akzidenz-Grotesk schmalfett poster type (6–32 Cicero).

    Berthold’s Bücher-Grotesk poster type (5–40 Cicero).
    Photo: Philipp Messner. License: CC BY-NC-SA.

    Berthold’s Bücher-Grotesk poster type (5–40 Cicero).

    1 Comment on “Junge spanische Maler, Kunsthalle Basel (1959)”

    1. Thank you very much, Philipp!

      I once saw such an extra-narrow c used in the headlines of a pre-digital German-language newspaper from Switzerland. If I recall correctly, it looked pretty much like this one – simply vertically cut, not unlike in Futura. Alas, I can’t remember which newspaper it was. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that such a sort was available, as contextual alternate or fitted pair.

      As you know, in German spelling, a lowercase c almost always appears in the digraphs ch and ck, or the trigraph sch. As such, it can make sense to keep the glyph horizontally compact, so that the phonetic unit is more cohesive.

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