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How Wagner & Schmidt complicated type history

This talk will outline the history and activities of Wagner & Schmidt and their descendants, e.g. type foundry Ludwig Wagner and Johannes Wager, track down and compare some of the popular designs stemming from this company, and shed light on how these left their traces in many current typefaces to this day.


Wagner & Schmidt was a company specialized in punchcutting and engraving in Leipzig around the turn of the 20th century. They supplied numerous type foundries in all of Europe with their matrices, who then cast and included these typefaces into their catalog under their own, various names. This is why we find many similar designs from different foundries, with different dates and different names – for instance, one of their most widespread typeface Neue Moderne Grotesk as Aurora from Weber, Akzidenz-Grotesk from Haas, or Cairoli from Nebiolo – which confuses researchers and historians everywhere today.