MUSTERBUC Ü.W.Ö. QUYS GEISTER 3. DI KORN CE PU XXII. AUSSTE 57 6482 9 3 fl rr n ck &-»!?*§(„ aaöiabbkbc ABCDEFG ddefgghij HIJKLMN klmnooopn O P Q R S T aqrrfstuv UVWXYZ wxxyz 123456789° ABCDEFGHIJKLMNO PQRSTUVWXYZabcd efghijklmnopqrfstuvwxyz 1234567890ffckߣ«»*§!() A section of the tenth exercise from Unterricht in Ornamentaler Schrift by Rudolf von Larisch. An early experimental phase of the Futura design compared to the finished type. Renner s sketches above - the type below. width; and the text page presents a rather neutral, uncontrasting effect, quite even in tone and texture. This definition rules out the "gothics", which are based on a different design principle. The sans serifs as defined made little im- pression throughout the rest ot the nineteentn Century; typographically the style remained a dud. In the 1920's though, the post-World War I period, there were experiments, innovations, and revolutions all over Europe. Nowhere, perhaps, were these experiments and changes more interesting to us in the typographical sense than in Germany. Here, in the 1920 s, there was great dissatisfaction with tradition there was a definite turning away from the past, from anything associated with the war and the defeat. All things that seemed new were eagerly accepted and tried out. Added to this was what Stanley Morison has noted as the greater willingness of the German crafts- man to experiment with letters. In the course of these experiments the sans-serif letter re- ceived a füll treatment. There has been some wrangling about who first had the idea of a sans-serif letter of the Futura design. Some consider that Edward Johnston's "Underground' aiphabet of 1919 gave the first impetus. This may well be a part of the answer. Rudolf von Larisch had also been using a sans-serif letter, all capitals usu- ally, to teach the practice of turning the pen to his writing classes in Vienna. The principles of both Von Larisch and Johnston had wide in- fluence in the teaching of lettering in Germany. It is much more probable that the idea of creating such a type as Futura was inspired by the new use of the old grotesque types goth ics as we know them in the evolving func- tional typography. That plus experiments at the Bauhaus by Herbert Bayer and others, plus the efforts of many individual artists and de- signers to shed the old snake-skin of tradition began to give the printed page the clean, pre- cise look which they feit the typography of the disillusioned post-war world should have. Among the latter group was Paul Renner, the designer of Futura. He began his sketches for a sans-serif type in 1924. The Bauer Foundry became interested in the letter and did preliminary trials in 1925. It was not until two years later that Futura reached the market; all of the "bugs" had been worked out of it by that time. This is the reason 2 7

Print Magazine en | 1953 | | page 29