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Weleda Gravidarium

Contributed by Manuel Wesely on Aug 13th, 2019. Artwork published in
April 2018
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    Weleda Gravidarium 1
    Source: http://mmm.do Photo: Manuel Wesely. Manuel Wesely. License: All Rights Reserved.

    The Weleda Gravidarium (pregnancy calculator) is a tool for midwives. It was published by the midwife department of Weleda AG in the spring of 2018. Unlike most gravidary discs with little more information than the expected date of delivery, it is intended for professional usage.

    The color-coded outer wheels divide the information into ultrasonic values (blue) and pregnancy-related appointments (orange) and are attached to a slightly larger (14 cm diameter), inner calendar wheel. They both have a pregnancy week calendar on their rim. If the first day of the last period is aligned correctly with the outer calendar, all the relevant dates of the pregnancy, such as examinations (illustration: Joni Majer), screenings, and the expected date of delivery are highlighted. Blood sugar information and fetal dimensions (in median values) can be checked as well.

    The main typeface of the gravidary disc is Gemeli Micro by Jean-Baptiste Levée and Yoann Minet of Production Type. With its characteristic ink traps and large x-height, it works well in rough printing environments and in very small sizes. It is a good match for the 5.5pt all-figure tables, printed in UV-offset on PP material. When used in abbreviations, Gemeli Micro is set in all caps with generous spacing.

    Gemeli’s x-height was enlarged, extenders shortened, stance widened, spacing loosened, and forms simplified. Combined with pronounced ink traps, these compensations not only help Gemeli Micro work at sizes south of 8 pt, they also make for unique headlines and word marks; Production Type’s logo is a case in point. This version comes in three weights with italics, along with many of the functional aspects from the base Gemeli family: alternate glyphs for ‘a’ and ‘g’, a variety of ligatures, and extensive language support. (Source: productiontype.com)

    New Weleda, Weleda’s corporate display typeface, is only used for the calendar month names.

    New Weleda’s roots lie in the typographic designs of Walther Roggenkamp (1926–1995), who had a lifelong interest in anthroposophy. Roggenkamp — a graphic designer, set designer, and painter — started to work with Weleda in 1956.

    Over the years, he was responsible for Weleda’s logotype, color style, packaging design for both cosmetics and medicine, booklets, a corporate newspaper, a calendar and, of course, a first version of their corporate typeface (together with Ingrid Liche, one of Roggenkamp’s employees). If I can find more reference material, these items may find their way into a future post on this site. Walther Roggenkamp continued to work for Weleda and oversaw the first digitization attempts of his corporate typeface in 1989. He passed away in 1995.

    The first digitization, performed by Roggenkamp’s student Andreas Sauer (who today runs RoSchriften and publishes the other Roggenkamp type designs) with Ikarus-M in 1989, was in use until 1995. An artistic change in Weleda’s design direction then led to the abandonment of the original corporate font in favor of a “new” version: New Weleda. At this time, Walther Roggenkamp was not involved anymore.

    Since September 1995, New Weleda has been used for the titling of product names and medical plants in packaging and corporate communication. Ingrid Liche released her own interpretation of the original Roggenkamp design under the name FF Liant in 1995.

    Weleda Gravidarium 2
    Source: http://mmm.do Photo: Manuel Wesely. Manuel Wesely. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Weleda Gravidarium 3
    Source: http://mmm.do Photo: Manuel Wesely. Manuel Wesely. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Weleda Gravidarium 4
    Source: http://mmm.do Photo: Manuel Wesely. Manuel Wesely. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Weleda Gravidarium 5
    Source: http://mmm.do Photo: Manuel Wesely. Manuel Wesely. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Weleda Gravidarium 6
    Source: http://mmm.do Photo: Manuel Wesely. Manuel Wesely. License: All Rights Reserved.

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    • Gemeli Micro
    • New Weleda

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