'Monoryiie' IBraiiqailncio SÜ5f SI AC»EF«HIJ KLSSOIHHI88TB V 1VIY1 al>i'4lfliijklm|H|rsiivwi/i A san serif stencil A and three recent stencil types based on old models make better stencils than the style now in vogue, and the ties then may become part of the lettering as necessary to the letter as to the stencil plate." For most typographers and designers stencilled characters are chiefly evocative of thoughts of packing-cases on busy wharves, the sweeping descent of derricks and the shouts of seamen stowing crates in cavernous holds. The characters have absorbed much of this background into their often awkward shapes. More than any other letter-form they are representative of industry and commerce. They have also a wider currency than other letter-forms, for I have seen stencilled English packing-cases on wharves in Gothenburg and in Hull, and, I have no doubt, stencilled German cases could (until recently) be seen on quaysides in San Francisco and in Yokohama. Under analysis many of the alphabets produced by sets of conventional stencils have no great claims to aesthetic merit. There is little in these characters which suggest that their designers paid much attention to the dicta of Geoffrey Tory. Yet by reason of their ties, they carry in a high degree the great asset of colour-contrast, and often have a charm that few other alphabets can approach. Certain stencilled alphabets, indeed, in which the tail to the R follows the Didot pattern are almost as distinguished as those superb characters which decorate so many French title-pages. Despite this ubiquity, stencilled letter-forms have not, curiously enough, engaged the close attention of typographers and typefounders, yet they offer what is probably a wider field for experiment than any other letter-form. Sans serifs have been used during recent years with such universal enthusiasm that any escape from such arbitrary shapes would seem to offer worth while potentialities. Designers who have tackled the job of designing a stencil type have been inclined to neglect the pleasing shapes of the conventional stencils in favour of more bizarre characters. This neglect was mainly due to the craze for typographical oddities which was such a pronounced feature of the post-last-war era in advertisement display. Braggadochio, TransitoFutura Black are typical stencilled types of this period. Of the three Transito from the Amsterdam Typefoundry, has probably fewer disturbing indulgences on the part of the designer, but the type has not gained any great popularity in this country. Monotype Braggadochio is a sound, solid type and in the hands of skilful designers has been made to do interesting work. Futura Black was the final addition to the long list of variations evolved by Paul Renner for the Bauer Typefoundry of Offenbach on the basic shapes of his Futura sans serif. In some of these latter-day designs, such as the Futura Display and Futura Black the family resemblance has to be taken on trust. These three types are the major experiments made by type designers in stencilled sans serif letter-forms. Compared with other display types of the nineteen-twenties they have had a very limited use. braggadocio The Monotype Corporation. 112

Commercial Art / Art and Industry en | 1940 | | page 20