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Hugo Daniel invoice, 1935

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Mar 6th, 2017. Artwork published in
circa 1935
.
    Hugo Daniel invoice, 1935 1
    Photo: Florian Hardwig. License: CC BY-NC-SA.

    Here’s some more Tiemann-Mediäval, on the letterhead of Hugo Daniel, owner of a factory for copper kettles and pan furnaces in Schlotheim, Thuringia, and an associated copper hammer mill in Rauda.

    The regular weight of the Mediäval was only the second of two dozen typefaces designed by Walter Tiemann (1876–1951) — and the first to be released publicly in 1909 — following his debut created in 1907 for the exclusive use by the Janus-Presse, the first German private press modeled after the English Doves Press, founded the same year by Tiemann together with Carl Ernst Poeschel in Leipzig.

    A comparison of Janus-Pressen-Schrift (private, 1907, left) and Tiemann-Mediäval (Klingspor, 1909, right). Note that the two samples show neither the same size nor reproduction method.
    Photo: Florian Hardwig. License: CC BY-NC-SA.

    A comparison of Janus-Pressen-Schrift (private, 1907, left) and Tiemann-Mediäval (Klingspor, 1909, right). Note that the two samples show neither the same size nor reproduction method.

    The Janus-Pressen-Schrift, like many of the faces spawned by the private press movement, harks back to the early roman types from Italy, which were considered a lost ideal. Tiemann-Mediäval can be described as a second, more personal take on the same genre, again picking up several characteristics of the Venetian Oldstyle incl. the angled ‘e’, but with a smaller x-height and some peculiar letterforms like the ‘bdpq’ group distinguished by their semicircle bowls.

    The letterhead is set in the halbfett, added in 1911. In this bold weight, the problems in two questionable letterforms are intensified. The ‘g’ with its knobby middle part and the ‘u’ with the (unique?) symmetrically seriffed base suffer from crowding. One is inclined to say that no one’s born a master, but these letters had been solved just fine in the earlier Janus-Pressen-Schrift. Mischievous wags might argue that Tiemann made the commercial release deliberately a little less beautiful because he knew it wouldn’t be used to sing the praises of Diotima on hand-made paper, but rather to market gasoline and kettles.

    Back then, ligatures for digraphs like ‘ch’ or ‘ck’ were considered atomic in German typesetting. Even when letterspacing was applied, as in “Postschließfach”, the ligatures were maintained.
    Photo: Florian Hardwig. License: CC BY-NC-SA.

    Back then, ligatures for digraphs like ‘ch’ or ‘ck’ were considered atomic in German typesetting. Even when letterspacing was applied, as in “Postschließfach”, the ligatures were maintained.

    The serif used for the smaller text could be Lateinisch, judging from the spurred ‘b’ combined with the angled top serifs on ‘n’ or ‘u’. In the bold, ‘b’ is spurless, though, and hence closer to Schelter & Giesecke’s Romanisch, or one of the faces derived from matrices made by Riegerl, Weißenborn & Co, like Stempel’s Römisch and Schriftguss’s Hamburger Römisch. “Postscheck-Konto” looks like Römisch breit fett (Schriftguss, Trennert) or Propaganda-Romanisch (Stempel).

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