Brasingles series, Selva Discos
2 Comments on “Brasingles series, Selva Discos”
For a moment I thought I had spotted Dunbar in use. Something seemed off, though – especially the wide G with the underbite is not how I remembered CJ Dunn’s reinterpretation of Erbar-Grotesk. Dunbar (CJ Type, 2016) isn’t the only typeface inspired by Jakob Erbar’s eponymous early geometric grotesk. The font in use here is dT Jakob, which was “started as a revival by Gustavo Soares for Paul van der Laan’s class at the Type and Media Masters, in The Hague, NL – back in 2007.” It was released in 2017 by dooType, a Brazilian foundry established by Eduilson Coan in 2008.
From top to bottom, the comparison shows:
1. dT Jakob Black, default
2. dT Jakob Black with Stylistic Set 2 activated, i.e. vertical terminals for G and S, as used on the record covers
3. Dunbar Tall Ultrablack
4. Phosphate Solid. Included for reference only – this font is part of a revival of Phosphor, the all-caps inline companion to Erbar-Grotesk. Made for multicolor layering and not to be used on its own.
Neither dT Jakob nor Dunbar aims to be a faithful revival, so it’s kind of moot to compare them against the original. Erbar-Grotesk didn’t have such a bold weight anyway. It came in a range of styles, but its heaviest member was the fett, which is approximately equal to the Bold weights of Jakob and Dunbar.
Jakob’s big-jawed G strikes me as not really at home in a geo-sans. Then again, all its round letters have wider oval shapes. The round dots and, to a lesser extent, the tailed t also feel too far removed from the source. In contrast, Jakob’s narrow-top S – and especially the vertically cut alternate – does a better job at capturing the Erbar spirit than Dunbar’s relatively wide and sharply bent glyph.
Each of the contemporary interpretations comes with interesting features that follow historical precedents. While Dunbar spans three subfamilies – Text (4 weights) for body copy and Tall (9 weights) and Low (7 weights) for display purposes –, dT Jakob (7 weights plus obliques) offers alternates with pointy terminals for A M N V W.
Florian, last week I tweeted this:
I had forgotten about dT Jakob! Thank you for reminding me there are a couple of great options.