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“Er De skriftklog?”

Photo(s) by “Sander Pedersen”. Imported from Flickr on Jun 25, 2017. Artwork published in .
    Source: Uploaded to Flickr by Sander Pedersen and tagged with “rockwell” and “renaissancefraktur”. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Double page advertisement for Olaf Gulowsen’s type foundry in the 1940 volume of Norsk Boktrykk Kalender. This volume honors the 500-year anniversary of the invention of Gutenberg’s press. Many of the ads are designed as pastiche of an older style, with blackletter type and a centered, symmetrical axis. This ad juxtaposes the old style with the modern style. The spelling is old-fashioned as well, and Oslo is referred to as Christiania, its name from 1624 to 1924.

    Do you know about type?

    Then you will know that at Olaf Gulowsen A-s, you get extra good and strong type. All for the lowest price possible. We use the old proverb: Do not cross the river after water. Use Olaf Gulowsen’s type foundry.

    When you see the ad on the other side and compare it with this, you must admit that tastes shift. The requirements for the written word must first be that it is always clear and easy to read. This characterizes all the typefaces from Olaf Gulowsen’s type foundry.





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    1 Comment on ““Er De skriftklog?””

    1. Jun 29th, 2017  4:01 pm

      Very nice, Sander!

      Torbjørn Eng mentions that this first Norwegian type foundry was started by graphical equipment supplier Olaf Gulowsen A/S in 1934. At least from 1928 to 1958, Olaf Gulowsen was listed in Monotype Recorder as “foreign concessionnaire” or “agent of the continental Monotype Trading Company Ltd.”, initially at Akersgaten 49, and from 1936 on located in Grensen 5–7. It was also Genzsch & Heyse’s agent for Norway. In 1960, Olaf Gulowsen celebrated 25 years of typefounding with an anniversary publication (Skrift og typer. Utgitt av Olaf Gulowsen A.s. i anledning av Det Norske Skriftstøperis 25-års jubileum). By 1976, the company had moved to Grenseveien 107, now doing business as Grafisk Senter Gulowsen.

      The typefaces in use are all by Monotype (Rockwell) and Genzsch & Heyse. The decorated initial is from a series credited to Otto Hupp (cf. ‘N’/‘S’ at the center right of that specimen), and may or may not have been part of the multi-faceted series named Renaissance-Initialen. I wonder if Olaf Gulowsen ever produced an original typeface.

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