TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Fri Jul 20 18:00:12 EDT 2018

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ABOUT







Josef Albers

German-born designer (b. Bottrop, 1888, d. New Haven, CT, 1976) associated with the Bauhaus School that made artistic ripples from 1919-1933. He joined the faculty of Weimar Bauhaus in 1922 as a stained glass maker, and became professor there from 1925 until Bauhaus closed in 1933 under Nazi pressure. He emigrated immediately to the United States where he became head of a new art school, Black Mountain College, in North Carolina. In 1950, he left North Carolina to become head of the Department of Design at Yale University until his retirement in 1958. Albers is best remembered for his work as an abstract painter and theorist. The Josef Albers papers and documents (from 1929 until 1970) were donated by the artist to the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art in 1969 and 1970. His typefaces:

  • Display (1923).
  • Schablonenschrift (1923-1926). This is one of a series of stencil typefaces Albers designed while teaching at the Dessau Bauhaus.
  • Futura Black (1926, a great stencil face---Paul Renner and the Bauer design office made it into a typeface in 1929, and included it in the Futura series, even though Futura is quite different in concept).
  • Kombinationsschrift auf Glas (1928-1931; combine a few elements). This was revived as P22 Albers by Richard Kegler from 1995 until 2004. See also here. Kombinationsschrift is inherently modular, the principle at the basis of FontStruct and other font creation tools. On my pages, I sometimes call the blatantly modular typefaces in the style of Kombinationsschrift piano key fonts.

Digital descendants of Albers's work include ThM Architype Albers (2013, Thijs Mertens), Architype Albers (Freda Sack and David Quay of The Foundry, 1997), P22 Albers (P22), Futura Black (Bitstream), Alber New (2010, Chris Dickinson at Moretype), Concreta (Tony de Marco and Niko Fernandez, 2011, at Just in Type), Modernist Stencil (Keith Bates, 2009, at K-Type), Sessions (John Skelton, 2009, at Afrojet), Idiom (Mike Jarboe, 2010, at Reserves), Gridiot (2003-2011, Peter Bain), Plaster (Eben Sorkin, 2011), Slink (Gene Buban, 2009), Albers (Crissov, 2009), Albers Numerals (2015, Tomek Zastawny), Duo (Omer Chafai), Rigid (Marta Cerda Alimbau, 2010), Albers Moiré (Nick Shea), Little Tittle (Michael Blair, 2012), Tp Floral (Two Points, 2006), Decade (Robert Holmkvist, 2015), Bauhaus Typography Experiment (Jonathan Kevin William Holburn, 2014), and Modular Alphabet (Isa Lloret, 2015).

References: Regarding the Economy of Typeface (an article explaining Albers' vision for typography), Josef Albers: Interaction of Color (1975, New Haven: Yale University Press), François Bucher: Josef Albers: Despite Straight Lines: An Analysis of His Graphic Constructions (1977, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), Brenda Danilowitz and Fred Horowitz: Josef Albers: to Open Eyes: The Bauhaus, Black Mountain College, and Yale (2006, Phaidon Press), Eva Diaz: The Ethics of Perception: Josef Albers in the United States (2008, Volume XC Number 2 of The Art Bulletin), Nicholas Fox Weber and Fred Licht: Josef Albers: A Retrospective (1988, New York: Guggenheim Museum Publications), Nicholas Fox Weber, Fred Licht and Brenda Danilowitz: Josef Albers: Glass, Color, and Light (1994, New York: Guggenheim Museum Publications), The Josef & Anni Albers Foundation.

EXTERNAL LINKS
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INTERNAL LINKS
Type designers ⦿ Type designers ⦿ Stencil fonts ⦿ German type scene ⦿ Type scene in Connecticut ⦿ Bauhaus and type design ⦿ Piano key typefaces ⦿








file name: Josef Albers Futura Black 1926


file name: P22 Albers 2004


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file name: P22 P22 Albers 2000


file name: Josef Albers Richard Kegler P22 Albers Three 1995


file name: Thijs Mertens Th M Architype Albers 2013


file name: Thijs Mertens Th M Architype Albers 2013b


file name: Freda Sack David Quay Architype Albers 1997


file name: Josef Albers Schablonenschrift


file name: Josef Albers Futura Black 1926


file name: Bitstream Futura Black 2000


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file name: Peter Bain Gridiot 2011


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file name: Jonathan Holburn Bauhaus Typography Experiment 2014c


file name: Isa Lloret Modular Alphabet 2015


file name: Isa Lloret Modular Alphabet 2015b


file name: Josef Albers Pic


file name: Josef Albers Portrait







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