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Peter Moesser’s Music ‎– Happy Time b/w Clipper 404

Contributed by Nick Sherman on Dec 21st, 2019. Artwork published in .
    Peter Moesser’s Music ‎– Happy Time b/w Clipper 404 1
    Source: https://www.youtube.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Cover for a 7″ vinyl single of the playful pop song “Happy Time”, with the similarly poppy “Clipper 404” as the B-side.

    “Happy Time” was popularized in Germany in the 1960s from being played while lottery numbers were chosen from a lottery machine on TV – hence the design’s number jumble and shape of the glücksschwein (lucky pig).

    While the pile of numerals looks random at first, there are a few cleverly placed glyphs to emulate pieces of the pig’s anatomy: a sideways 8 and 3 for a snout and eyes, respectively, rotated 7 for an ear, and a 6 for a curly tail.

    Peter Moesser’s Music ‎– Happy Time b/w Clipper 404 2
    Source: https://www.flickr.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    3 Comments on “Peter Moesser’s Music ‎– Happy Time b/w Clipper 404

    1. “45” is a condensed Modern of the French variety. LSC Condensed comes close. Similar numerals can also be found in Ambroise. Both are younger than this cover, of course.

      “12” and “38” are from an Anglaise like Künstler-Schreibschrift. The digital versions nor the specimens of Stempel’s foundry type that I looked at are a perfect match, though.

    2. The inclusion of Schmalfette Grotesk got me thinking. This alphabet by Walter Haettenschweiler was originally “just” a piece of lettering, reproduced in Lettera 1 (1954). Read more about Lettera as a de facto font format (as in fount of letterforms). Schmalfette was later made into a film typeface. However, 1968 strikes me as quite early for phototype, at least for this wide range of display styles, at least in Germany. It’s clearly not (direct) letterpress, so …

      Could this glücksschweinchen be composed from numerals found in alphabet source books? I checked my copy of Lettera 1 and indeed struck lucky! Most of the included styles only show alphabetic characters, but a few additionally have numerals. Among those are not only Profil (7, 8) by the Lenz brothers and Chaillot (4, 35) by Marcel Jacno. There’s also Bauer Bodoni in roman (3[0]) and italic (21, 37, 41, 42). And several faces that appear to be Lettera exclusives: Italienne (5, 6, 31), a narrow French Antique; Modern Art (26), a wide Fat Face; and Mannequin (45). The latter is the “condensed Modern of the French variety” I mentioned before. All three of them were drawn by Swiss artist Alex Stocker (1926–1954), Italienne and Mannequin together with Hans Gruber.

      I’ve updated the font IDs and added this Use to my Lettera Set. It also qualifies for 2+ typefaces by 1 designer, and not just once, but thrice: 2×Georg Trump, 2×Hans Gruber, and 3×Alex Stocker. This piglet keeps on giving!

    3. Excellent sleuthing, Florian. Thanks!

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