Jan Cingroš letterhead
1 Comment on “Jan Cingroš letterhead”
Thanks a bunch, Eva!
You know this already, as we chatted about it. I’m adding this background here for other readers:
While the typeface design originated as Quaint at Dickinson in Boston, the specific version used here is very likely the copy made by the Karl Brendler foundry in Vienna. Plzeň is just about 300km away, and belonged to the same state at the time. In the days of metal type, most printers bought regional (although overseas imports are not unheard of). Also, it’s unlikely that the American original offered Czech diacritics. Brendler sold their version as Othello (= solid Quaint) and Desdemona (= Quaint Open).
Fun aside: while Quaint (as well as Quaint Open and Othello) fell into obscurity, the name Desdemona lived on – arguably because Brendler’s open cut was included in Petzendorfer’s Schriftenatlas Neue Folge as published between 1903 and 1905, a type and lettering sampler that became an influential source when the Art Nouveau aesthetic saw renewed interest around the 1960s. The copy’s name was used when the design was revived by Face Photosetting. They added a solid style. Ironically, it’s neither named Quaint nor Othello, but Desdemona Solid. In the early 1970s, Letraset issued a Desdemona Solid, too, boosting its popularity.
In the Typografia periodical, this letterhead is presented as one of several examples for good typographic design. If one looks on the preceding page, there’s an ad(vertorial) by the Klinkhardt foundry for the Patrick ornaments used by Kalaše. And two pages on, after another exemplary use of Desdemona, ond can find an ad by the Brendler foundry, featuring Othello and Desdemona! I don’t think this is a coincidence. The material used in the typesetting examples was probably sponsored by the ad buyers.