NEW LUXABLE BAG Jet$t 7Sevien national! THREE NEW TYPES FROM ABROAD Cartoon (Soldans Ltd.). Spiritual father (strange to say), Rudolph Koch. The name of this new series of free capitals leaves no doubt as to its purpose. Created by a New York advertising designer," it is available in 8, io, 12, 14, 18, 24, 30 and 36 point in both light and bold weights. There are minor dis crepancies in the characteristics of the light and the boldfor instance, certain unaccountable bumps on the light W and H. The least fortunate combination is PR the outward slope of the tail of the R seems to skid away from the opposite slope of the P. Looks very feeble. But it is a generally consistent face capable of a great variety of uses, and brilliantly legible. I have already seen half a dozen hand-drawn imitations of Cartoon, all worse than the original, in English advertisements. Corvinus suffered the same fate. Cartoon has the great advantage (owing to the subtly-varied angles of its letters) of remaining readable in long lines. The numerals are excellent, their freedom could provide a scintillating con trast to any more regular sanserif. They have the same vitality as Neuland. Cartoon is not likely entirely to supersede single-strokelettering for conversational balloons. For one thing it will cost more, and for another lettering is quicker and more elastic in use. But it is going to prove a permanent addition to our repertoire. Cartoon enlarges well, and, used with discretion, could be put to a large number of uses apart from balloons and sub- captionsfive or six letters of Cartoon bold on a package, for instance. National Schrag (Ludwig and Mayer, Frank furt A.m., and Soldans Ltd.), compels our admira tion. We marvel at the ingenuity of the German designers who contrive to produce a gothic face that bears comparison to a modern eye with Jakob Erbar's masterpiece. Klingspor's Gothen burg is another of them. We are not used to black-face we do not read it easily. But we can recognise a type such as this as a triumph of the artist over difficulties arbitrarily imposed from another sphere. The present German Government insist on the continued use of gothic faces. Has the impressive clarity of Skizze (in English, Sketchboth pretty bad titles). Ludwig and Mayer, Frankfurt A.m., and Soldans Ltd., issued in 12, 14, 16, 18, 24, 30 s, 30 1, 42 and 54 point. There is a special alphabet of capitals. Set side by side they look good. Set side by side with Weiss italic capitals their individual weaknesses are at once apparent. The E and the S are very bad indeed. Without the apparently wilful singularity of the lowercase F and the curious bowed effect of the lowercase B and L, Skizze, when set would be over-regular and lose much of its character. On its own, however, the F is not a good letterfew of them are. But together, they improve. This is not an italic, like Caslon or Garamond, that will the sanserif made simplification of the gothic a necessity It seems like it. National appears in light, medium, heavy and extra heavy, in condensed open and italic. The heavy reads well in 8 point, which is remarkable in itself. The lower case R seems the only discordant letterits tail shoots sharply to the right giving it an untoward instability, although this prevents any break that a more rigid stroke might produce in the uniformity of the line. Great care has evidently been lavished on the whole National series. stand letter spacing at all. It would seem that it is not possible to criticise a new type face without reference to the classics. This is certainly true of Skizze. It is easy to be carried away by the nicety of arrangement shown in the dozen small samples of the type in use sent out by wily type founders, but too often their effect depends upon some scintillating contrast of colour or the placing of but one word among a whole page of some type a good deal better. Arrangement is all. Painters arrange matches, corks, dead leaves and pieces of putty to form a most moving composition. The wily typefounder understands this only too well. R. HAUGHTON JAMES. I50

Commercial Art / Art and Industry en | 1937 | | page 34