TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Thu Apr 4 15:32:01 EDT 2024






Victor Hammer

Austrian designer, printer, type engraver and teacher (b. Vienna 1882, d. Lexington, 1967) who made mainly uncial typefaces at Klingspor such as Hammerschrift (1923, a modern pseudo-Gaelic uncial), Hammer Unziale (1921). Other typefaces include Samson (1926, an uncial cut by Paul Koch, son of Rudolf Koch) or Hammer Samson Uncial (1931), Pindar (1933, a modern pseudo-Gaelic uncial), American Uncial (1943, a modern pseudo-Gaelic uncial first published with the Dearborn Type Foundry and revived in 1993 as Gaeilge 2), Andromaque Uncial (1958, digitized by Paul Baker in 1995), Aurora Uncial (Victor Hammer, ATF---never produced, but rediscovered by Theo Rehak when he bought the ATF material). In 1953, American Uncial was re-released by Klingspor foundry. It was renamed Neue Hammer Unziale, in two versions. Unlike the unicase American Uncial, Neue Hammer Unziale has both upper and lowercase letters.

Hammer's uncials have been revived in Neue Hammer Unziale I (1988, Adobe) or New Hammer Uncial or American Uncial (for example at URW++ in 1993). See also Monotype's Uncial, Thomas E. Harvey's Gael (1993), and SoftMaker's Unziale (2012).

Mac McGrew explains Andromaque's genesis: Andromaque is a cursive form of uncial letter, mixing Greek forms of aeklmnstz with Roman forms of the other letters, yet retaining legibility and harmony. The original size was cut by Victor Hammer and cast in France. The 14-point size was begun by Hammer, but left unfinished at his death. The font was completed by his long-time friend, R. Hunter Middleton, in the early 1980s, and cast by Paul H. Duensing. Paul Baker did a digital version of Andromaque in 1995.

Hammer was forced to emigrate from Vienna to the USA in 1939, where he settled in Aurora, NY. His life is described in Victor Hammer. Artist and Craftsman (by Carolyn Hammer, Lexington, 1981) and in Notes on the Stamperia del Santuccio (by Carolyn Hammer, Lexington, 1963).

Mac McGrew: American Uncial was designed and cut by hand by Victor Hammer in 1943. This artist, who was born in Austria, had built a reputation for craftsmanship as a type designer, punch cutter, and printer in Italy. In 1939 he became professor of fine arts at Wells College in Aurora, New York, where he cut punches for this face. Matrices were made and type was cast by the Dearborn Type foundry in Chicago, last of the small independent founders. Later the design was recut and cast by Klingspor in Germany. Uncial letters date to times before the common use of separate capital and lowercase alphabets. They are the basis for the lowercase of this font, to which Hammer has added a set of capitals. There is also a set of Initials, which follow mostly the lowercase design but with some modifications. Compare Hammer Samson Uncial, Worrell Uncial.

Victor Hammer
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file name: American Uncial

file name: U R W American Uncial D by Victor Hammer

file name: Victor Hammer American Uncial 1943

file name: Victor Hammer American Uncial 1943 U R W Version 1993

file name: Victor Hammer American Uncial 1943

file name: Victor Hammer Andromaque Uncial 1958

file name: Victor Hammer Andromaque Uncial 1958b

file name: Victor Hammer Hammer Unziale 1923

file name: Victor Hammer Neue Hammer Unziale2

file name: Soft Maker Unziale 2012 295833 002

file name: Soft Maker Unziale 2012

file name: Victor Hammer Calligraphy

file name: Victor Hammer Self Portrait Mezzotint

Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html