“Prague” – Arik Einstein
3 Comments on ““Prague” – Arik Einstein”
Thank you, Philipp!
I add some of the info that you provided here:
[Narkis Block] went farther than its ‘sans-serif’ predecessors (the popular but poorly designed Haim and Aharoni) in the simplification of form, always informed by a calligrapher’s understanding of the structure of a written letter. — Stephen Lubell: “The Hebrew Typeface Designs of Zvi Narkis”, in: Gutenberg Jahrbuch (2003), pp. 217–233
I wonder whether we should add Arta as a “foundry” (better: typeface publisher). Or is it more akin to a design studio that provided the Hebrew typeface designs to Letraset? Did they distribute fonts in other formats than Letraset, too, e.g. as film? I remember your article on Microgramma Hebrew where you state that the Letraset sheets mention “Copyright by Art and Industry — L. Osheroff”, and that in 1964, Leo and Tamar Osheroff founded “Arta”, a company for the distribution of office and artist supplies with shops in Tel Aviv and Haifa. Would it be accurate to credit Osheroff as the designer of Arta Grotesque?
I don’t know exactly how production was organized. Osheroff’s company worked closely together with Letraset but in many cases had secured the copyright on their Hebrew faces (a small collection of sheets can be found here) Even though Letraset seems to have been responsable for the production and the distribution outside of Israel. So I guess Arta could be seen as a “foundry” as the transfer letters seemed to be at the heart of their company.
Judging from the naming and the shared numerals, Arta’s Grotesque was considered a Hebrew counterpart to Stephenson Blakes’s Grotesque No. 7 and No. 9. Letraset carried Latin versions of No. 7, No. 9, No. 9 Italic, and No. 9 Outline.
The Hebrew section of Mecanorma’s Graphic Book No. 14 from 1988 shows Arta’s Grotesque 7 (as #963) and the outlined version of Grotesque 9 (as #962). There are no credits – maybe Arta licensed the design to Letraset’s competitor, too, or maybe Mecanorma made a knockoff. Their distribution partner in Israel was Pythagoras Ltd. in Tel Aviv.