After three years it’s finally done: The »Fliegenprobe« – probably one of the last letterpress specimens – was released in a limited edition of 150, consisting of two volumes and an accompanying box with large format prints.
The project was started under the appeal »bitte setzen!« in summer 2008 by Munich Designschool (www.designschule-muenchen.de) in collaboration with the letterpress printshop »Fliegenkopf« (www.fliegenkopf-muenchen.de). The ambitious goal was to create a specimen of the approximately 170 different typefaces of the workshop.
What began with a handful of students was soon extended to a large number of helping hands beyond the school. Finally almost 100 »junior typesetters« were needed to manage the huge amount of work to inventory the typefaces and design, typeset and print the specimens.
Many lead and woodtypes – known and nameless ones – had been collected within the 20 years since the printshop was founded. The supervising instructors Oliver Linke and Michael Wörgötter had to do quite a bit of research to find missing names, designers, foundries or years of origin.
For the specimens’ wording the creators decided to use text material related to dadaism and concrete poetry as well as old and forgotten german words. In this way the specimens not only show typefaces with indication of its sources, but also became a pleasurable read representing literature and vocabulary of the letterpress era.
The complete set containing all typefaces of the printshop consists of: Volume I (122 sheets) with lead typefaces (89 families). Volume II (101 sheets) with poster typefaces (85 families), whereas typefaces taller than 12 cicero have been printed additionally on 69 large sheets (35 x 50 cm), enclosed in a box.Posted on 07.03.2012
Streets of London …
… is the name of an upcoming typeface project which is currently in state of completion. It is related to the work of the british stonecutter David Kindersley (1915 – 1995). The project was triggered by tgm-leader Boris Kochan who stumbled across an intriguing street sign typography in London some 15 years ago.
Street sign on a building in Kensington/London // Detail of an original iron cast sign
The originally iron casted capital letter signage was Kindersleys contribution to improve the legibility and visual quality of typography in public space.
Boris couldn’t let loose to his discovery over years, so he finally asked Robert Strauch to undertake some research with him in London and Cambridge. They met David’s widow Lida Lopez Cardozo Kindersley who provided them with the original letter models dating from the late 1940s.
Raising the treasure: Kindersley’s original letter drawings at Lida’s workshop
The first step was to redraw the caps accurately and with caution to the subtle details.
Based on this work Robert designed the lowercase letters thoughtfully caring to preserve the unique flavour of the model. After a period of refinement and testing, the resulting typeface was extended with accompanying italics and a bold style.
For quite a while now a well-known bakery in Augsburg (and region) uses Fabiol as their overall corporate typeface after implementing it primarily for their ecological product line (“Wolf-Bio”). Not that we want to carry on product placement here, but their “Elsässer Baguette” and “Kraftkornbrot” are unbeatable within miles. Just taste it!
Posted on 21.11.2011