Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
Password reminder


Personal tools
Password reminder
You are here: Home / Conferences / Amsterdam 2013 / Presentation programme

The painter’s letters — On History and Forms of German Lettering

When Thu 10 Oct 1215
Where Krasnapolsky B
What History/Education
Who Fritz Grogel

Ranging from copperplate engraving to monumental and commercial inscriptions in public spaces, lettering is a huge field of letter creation that has been neglected in the history of type for far too long. The German language, for instance, lacks an appropriate term for “lettering” to this day. The timespan examined in my research on German letterpainting ranges from about 1850 to 1950, with a focus on the years 1880 to 1930 when technical, social and formal revolutions overwhelmed the country in short intervals. Two of the lecture’s main subjetcts are the use of roman and fraktur letter models in public spaces and the increasing popularity of sans serif Block letters in Germany from 1850 on. The audience will assist a visual journey through abundant lettering masters and will get acquainted with once prominent German figures today forgotten. Among those: Friedrich Soennecken, re-discoverer of the translation contrast, Rudolf von Larisch, inventor of a monolinear writing tool and figurehead of the Schriftkunst movement, as much as Rudolf Blanckertz, chief of Germany’s eldest steel nib factory, founder of the eponymous Schriftmuseum and fervent apologist of Blackletter as German national hand. The aim of this lecture is to provide the audience with an overview on the most important developments in German lettering in the fields of letterpainting, lithography and poster art. It is based on the content of the book “Karbid — From lettering to type design” by Verena Gerlach and Fritz Grögel published by Ypsilon Éditeurs and released on the occasion of the Amsterdam conference.

Back to the programme