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“Vorzügliche Druckerfolge” ad by Berger & Wirth

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Sep 5th, 2019. Artwork published in
September 1928
.
    “Vorzügliche Druckerfolge” ad by Berger & Wirth
    Source: https://magazines.iaddb.org Gebrauchsgraphik. Scan courtesy of IADDB. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Before Leipziger Antiqua, there was Lipsia-Antiqua. Lipsia is the Latin name of Leipzig, which used to be the center of German book trade and related fields like graphic arts, and still is a hotspot for books and type design.

    This ad is taken from the Gebrauchsgraphik issue from September 1928. The same ad was used over the course of several years. While the constructivist owl strikes me as very much modern, the typeface had reached (German) legal drinking age already. It was designed at Wagner & Schmidt in 1911, possibly in response to Bauer’s Kleukens-Antiqua (1910). The matrices were sold to numerous foundries, including Böttger and Klinkhardt in Leipzig, who offered the cast type under the name Lipsia-Antiqua. Other names for the same design included Neuklassisch (D. Stempel AG), Regent-Antiqua (C.E. Weber), or Moderne Renaissance (Haas). See the typeface page for a more extensive list. Here it’s used exclusively in caps, featuring a compact umlaut (Ü) and its peculiar ampersand (&).

    Berger & Wirth was a manufacturer of printing inks. Established in 1823, the company from Leipzig-Schönefeld had branches in Berlin (1891), Barmen (1896), Hamburg (1910), Amsterdam (1910), Budapest (1907), Prague (1924), St. Petersburg/Leningrad (1892), and Rio de Janeiro (1925). In GDR times, it was merged into VEB Druckfarben Halle, and the famous name disappeared. The Leipzig operations ultimately closed down in 1997.

    The design is credited to “Hofmann”. This could be Walter Hofmann, a Leipzig-based painter and commercial artist active in the 1920s and 1930s. It looks like the client didn’t really have confidence in Hofmann’s modernist owl: A small, less blocky version of the logo is repeated in the bottom left corner.

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