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Den Armen tom besten, Museum Schwedenspeicher

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Nov 14th, 2016. Artwork published in .
    Source: Museen Stade. License: All Rights Reserved.

    The current exhibition at Museum Schwedenspeicher in Stade, Northern Germany, explores the 600-year-long history of the local fraternities.

    The title in Low German, Den Armen tom besten, is derived from a chronicle from 1764, commemorating the foundational event of the Kaufleute- und Schiffer-Brüderschaft in 1556, when “merchants of Stade had loaded many ships and equipped them with guns, lead, and powder, against those from Hamburg. When they returned home, they kept lead and powder to the value of 12 marks and 8 shillings. This amount has been invested for the better of the poor.”

    The letterforms found in this document — a Kanzlei, i.e. a broken chancery hand that stands between Fraktur and Kurrent — may have served as inspiration for the exhibition poster designed by Arndt und Seelig. It features Vtg Stencil Germany No.101 (2014), a digital typeface modeled after historic stencil plates. Type designer Andreas Seidel of Astype:

    The design […], a blackletter chancery, is a romantic reprise of a style that was common in German writing offices from the 14th to the 16th century. The flourishes stylistically quote the Baroque period. […] Overall, this decorative blackletter doesn’t look like a stencil design. Maybe it was originally used by a sign painter, and all the typical stencil bridges would have been painted over in the final work.

    In the poster design, the stencil treatment makes the broken letterforms look more contemporary, and enforces their display quality. The secondary typeface is Akkurat, with the fine print set in Univers Condensed.

    Source: Astype. License: All Rights Reserved.

    These historic stencil plates (c. 1890) from Bavaria formed the base for Astype’s Vtg Stencil Germany No.101.


    • Vtg Stencil Germany No.101
    • Akkurat
    • Univers




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