The subject of this episode of the Weekly Invoice series is technically not a proper invoice, but an order confirmation. It was sent in 1930 (although the form was apparently printed already in the 1920s) by Gebr. Müller, a metal turnery workshop fabricating screws and valves in Luckenwalde, Brandenburg. Established in 1911, the factory was nationalized as VEB Armaturen- und Metallschraubenfabrik after WWII.
We’ve seen some Industria before. This wide grotesque was designed by Hermann Zehnpfundt and first cast by the Emil Gursch foundry in Berlin in 1910 in two weights, mager and halbfett. In 1913, two more weights (zart, fett) and the vertically hatched Industria Zephyr were added. After Gursch was acquired by Berthold in 1917, the series was extended with a fifth weight, schwer (1922), and an inline style (1920). The latter, dubbed Industria Gravur, is the leading actor in this letterhead. It is also the only style of the series that outlived the era of metal type. VGC made a film type version named Ronsard Crystal, using the name of the copy by Fonderie Warnery in Paris. Digitizations include OPTI Ronsard Crystal (Castcraft, 1990–1991), Ronsard Crystal (Red Rooster, 2009, based on VGC’s version), and K22 Ronsard Inline (Toto G., 2014).
One detail that can only be found in the metal original is the different treatment of some glyphs in smaller sizes. The punchcutter realized that three inlined strokes within the x-height would look too crowded. Reducing their stroke weight would lead to uncontrolled ink spread and clogged inlines. The problem was solved by embracing it: The middle horizontal tapers into a plain solid stroke, see ‘a’, ‘e’, ‘s’ in the close-up below.
3 Comments on “Gebr. Müller Luckenwalde letterhead, 1930”
See also two earlier invoice designs by the same company in this follow-up.
I wondered if anyone else had used this ingenious trick! I’m pleased to report that FF Neuwelt Inline (free download for the next month, incidentally) does on the 'e’.
Well spotted and remembered! Thank you, Blythwood.