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Font of the Week - DIN 1451 Engschrift

The abbreviation "DIN" stands for Deutsches Institut für Normung (The German Institute for Industrial Standards). In 1936 the German Standard Committee settled upon DIN 1451 as the standard font for the areas of technology, traffic, administration and business. The Committee chose a sans serif font because it was thought to be legible, straightforward, and easy to reproduce. They did not expect the font would be used for advertisements and other "artistically oriented" purposes. Nevertheless, because DIN 1451 has been seen all over Germany on signs for town names and traffic directions, this font became familiar enough to make its way to the palettes of graphic designers and advertising art directors. Despite disagreement about its aesthetic qualities, the contemporary digital version of DIN 1451 has been adopted and used by designers in other countries as well, solidifying its worldwide design reputation. Try it out for signage, magazine layouts, book covers, or flyers. DIN 1451's industrial heritage makes it surprisingly functional in just about any application.

Category: Square Sans
Designer: Linotype Design Studio
Design Year: 1931
Foundry: Linotype

Information from fonts.com and Linotype.


Alexa™

The Alexa typeface was designed for Adobe Systems in 1995 by John Benson, a famous United States carver of inscriptions, including those at the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. Benson modeled the friendly, casual script after his own handwriting and named it after his niece. Although based on the cancelleresca style of 16th-century Italian writing masters, Alexa has no swash terminals or ligatures. The absence of these features and its pronounced slope give this typeface a distinctly modern look for lively lines and pages. One can use Alexa for both text and display sizes.

Category: Script
Designer: John Benson
Design Year: 1994
Foundry: Adobe Systems

Information from Wikipedia, fonts.com and Linotype.


ITC Anna™

ITC Anna was little more than a gleam in the eye of designer Daniel Pelavin in the mid-1980s, when he drew a few letters for an Aramis Cologne holiday promotion. Pelavin continued to use these letters for various projects, always adding new characters.

History

The design became a family matter when Pelavin’s wife, graphic designer Lorraine Louie, used the alphabet on their wedding invitation in 1988. “Then,” says Pelavin, “we used it again – for the birth announcement of our daughter, Anna, a year later.”

It was alphabet Anna’s appearance on Louie’s business stationery that first brought the design to ITC’s attention. In 1990, ITC asked Pelavin to develop a typeface based on the letterforms, and ITC Anna was released as a single design in 1991.

A couple of years later, Pelavin created a suite of swash and alternate characters for the design. Eventually, ITC asked Pelavin to draw a bold weight to complement the original release. ITC Anna Extended is the result.

This new weight adds versatility to this distinctive, Art Deco-flavored yet contemporary typeface. ITC Anna has left the “family” and taken its place among ITC’s most useful display designs.

Category: Art Deco
Designer: Daniel Pelavin
Design Year: 1991
Foundry: ITC

Information from fonts.com and Linotype.


Graphite®

The Graphite® font family is another of the many fonts that is based on an actual person’s handwriting. Designer David Siegel was interested in creating a font based on the “chiseled pencil” look of an architect’s handwriting and decided on the styling of renowned San Francisco architect Anthony Celis LaRosa. He deliberately gave it a weight and axes width that would allow a breadth of variations from Light Condensed to Black Extended with ease. It lends itself well to situations that require an informal type style.

History

Web designer David Siegel and font designer Tom Rickner collaborated with Font Bureau founder David Berlow to create the script Graphite font family at the Font Bureau for Adobe in the early 1990s. In part inspired by Tekton®’s look of the “pen and ink” interpretation of an architect’s handwriting, the name of the font calls attention to the penciled handwriting style that the font is based on.

Usage

In manufacturing, all Hewlett Packard jet-printers have the Graphite font as part of their standard font package.

In the entertainment world, the Graphite font is often used to represent comic book type fonts, such as when it was used with the fonts Comic Sans™ and Jim Lee™ for the DVD cover for the movie American Splendor (based on an autobiographical comic book). In addition, the font is used for the title cards for the animated television show Phineas and Ferb.

In architecture the font is often used, along with Blueprint®, for the printing on the actual blueprints. This is somehow appropriate considering the font is based on the handwriting of an architect.

Category: Casual Script
Designer: David Siegel
Design Year: 1993
Foundry: ?

Information from fonts.com.


Insignia®

Insignia® was designed by British graphic design guru Neville Brody, originally as a headline face for Arena magazine in 1986, and released as a font by Linotype in 1989. Insignia has the basic forms of constructed grotesque fonts and was influenced by the New Typography of the Bauhaus during the 1930s. Its monoline, round-and-sharp forms reflect the Zeitgeist of that age, suggesting technology and progress.

Yet, like other Brody fonts, Insignia is also immediately recognizable as one of the hip, cutting-edge classics of our own computer era. The alternate font has half-serifs on the E, F, and Z; squeezed bowls on the P and R; a wider J; and an S made from protractor-shaped parts.

Four original Brody fonts are available from Linotype: Insignia, Insignia Industria Solid, Industria Inline and Arcadia. His designs have received international recognition for their innovative style, reaching almost cult status.

Category: Geometric
Designer: Neville Brody
Design Year: 1989
Foundry: Linotype

Information from linotype.com.


MonaLisa®

ITC Mona Lisa® was designed by Pat Hickson, a stark and elegant typeface originally drawn in the 1930s by Albert Auspurg. The original drawings were long gone and the surviving metal type was already severely worn when Hickson studied Auspurg's design for his recreation. The result is a typeface which melds the flavor of the 1930s with current design standards. ITC Mona Lisa displays all the suave sophistication of Fred Astaire and Greta Garbo.

Category: Art Deco
Designer: Pat Hickson
Design Year: 1991
Foundry: ITC

Information from fonts.com and Linotype.


Page Last Updated Ago 19, 2014.


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