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LUC DEVROYE


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Wilhelm Woellmer

Wilhelm Woellmer is a German type designer who ran a foundry which published typefaces such as Deutsche Reichsschrift (1910, a Fraktur digitally revived by Gerhard Helzel). The earliest publication is from 1886, and the latest one from 1933. The Wilhelm Woellmers Schriftgießerei in Berlin ceased operations in 1938. Most matrices are now in the possession of Typoart, formerly Schriftguss KG. Designers who published at Woellmer's foundry, which was located in Berlin, include:

  • Wilhelm Woellmer: the Fraktur typeface Berliner Gotisch (1910) and the script typefaces Barberina (1925, advertised as Kartenschrift Barberina), Berolina (1930), Drescher Eilschrift (1934) and Attraktion (1925; Jaspert says 1930).
  • Heinrich Wieynck: Mercedes Antiqua, Kursiv and Antiqua Halbfett in 1904, 1905 and 1906 respectively, as well as Woellmer Antiqua (1907), Woellmer Kursiv (1907) and Woellmer Antiqua Halbfett (1908).
  • Lucian Zabel: the Fraktur typeface Zabel Roman (1928-1930), Fette Zabel Antiqua.
  • Erich Meyer: Woellmer-Fraktur (1937).
  • Konrad Jochheim: the Fraktur typeface Jochheim Deutsch (1933-1935).
  • Martin Wilke: Ambassador.
  • Arthur Pestner: Deutsche Reichs-Schrift (1915).
Other typefaces: Kartenschrift Feodora (1925, Wilhelm Woellmer's Schriftgiesserei: a slender sans for use on maps and drawings; designer unknown), Deutsche Reichsfraktur (before 1925), Schattierte Grotesk, Senats Antiqua (1914), Kartenschrift Gerda (1915), Breite Magere Medieval mit Zierschrift Initialen (1894), Breite magere Kolonial (1911), Empire Messing (1910s), Berliner Gotisch (1909, blackletter), Lessing Antiqua (1908), Dekor (1907), Consul Kursiv (1906), Avista Ornamente (1906), Goethe Fraktur (1905; some say 1910; digitally revived by Ralph Unger (2022) and Gerhard Helzel), Mercedes Ornamente Series 1-6 (1905), Kolonial (1904), Reiher Grotesk (1904), Mercedes Antiqua and Kursiv (1904), Halbfette Transita (1904), Consul (1903), Fette Freihand Ornamente (1903), Freihand-Ornamente (1901), Freihand-Linien (1901), Römische Initialen, Runde Buchgotisch (ca. 1900), Favorit (ca. 1900, blackletter; a reader reports having seen it in a 1889 specimaen book), Fette Globus (1898, blackletter), Reuß-Schrift, Uncial-Gotisch (ca. 1900).

Berry, Johnson and Jaspert write about Kolonial: A heavy display roman, rather like CHELTENHAM. It is somewhat condensed and has short ascenders and descenders. Serifs are thick, blunt and horizontal (except on the d). The K has a very high waist, the middle strokes of the M descend only half-way, the R has a tapering tail. The ear of the g points north-east. The arches of the h, m and n are splayed. The italic has the serifs of the roman and some swash capitals. There are also a Shaded and an Extended face. Before World War II the type was also sold as Columbia by the Amsterdam Typefoundry, and is the Buffalo of the H.C. Hansen Foundry of Boston. It belongs with Morland (Blanchard of the Inland Type Foundry) to the group of heavy display types of which many American foundries had their own version. Its similarity with Cheltenham applies particularly to the original Cheltenham drawings.

Notes on revivals of selected typefaces:

  • The art nouveau typeface Siegfried (ca. 1900) is also attributed to Woellmer. It was revived by Dieter Steffmann as Siegfried (2001) and by Ralph M. Unger as Siegfried Pro (2017).
  • Schmale Fette Renaissance (1895) was revived in 2016 as Edna by Reymund Schroeder.
  • Consul was revived by Stephan Müller and Reymund Schroeder.
  • In 2004, Dan Solo published Marshall Normal, an art nouveau typeface that he attributes to Woellmer, ca. 1900.

The main specimen book of the foundry is Muster-Sammlung von Wilhelm Woellmer's Schriftgiesserei und Messinglinienfabrik (Berlin, 1896 or 1898).

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file name: Wilhel Woellmer Schriftgiesserei1898


file name: Woellmer Kolonial 1904


file name: Wilhelm Gronau Roemische Initialen


file name: Wilhelm Woellmer Fette Globus


file name: wilhelm woellmer siegfried 1900


file name: Wilhelm Woellmer Siegfried


file name: Dieter Steffmann Siegfried 2001


file name: Ralph M Unger Siegfried Pro 2017 after Wilhelm Woellmer Siegfried 1900


file name: Ralph M Unger Siegfried Pro 2017 after Wilhelm Woellmer Siegfried 1900a


file name: Ralph M Unger Siegfried Pro 2017 after Wilhelm Woellmer Siegfried 1900b


file name: Ralph M Unger Siegfried Pro 2017 after Wilhelm Woellmer Siegfried 1900c


file name: Ralph M Unger Siegfried Pro 2017 after Wilhelm Woellmer Siegfried 1900d


file name: Wilhelm Woellmer Moderne Schmale Halbfette Fractur 1885


file name: R M U Goethe Fraktur 2022 1


file name: R M U Goethe Fraktur 2022 2


file name: R M U Goethe Fraktur 2022 3


file name: R M U Goethe Fraktur 2022 4


file name: R M U Goethe Fraktur 2022


file name: Wilhelm Woellmer Goethe Fraktur 1910


file name: Gerhard Helzel Goethe Fraktur after W Wellmer


file name: Dan Solo Marshall Normal 2004 after Wollmer 1900


file name: Reymund Schroeder Stephan Mueller Consul after Wilhelm Woellmer Consul 1903 1907


file name: Gerhard Helzel Deutsche Reichsschrift after Wilhelm Woellmer 1910


file name: Breitemagere Mediavalm. Zierschrift Initialenfrom Wilhelm Woellmers 1894


file name: Wilhelm Woellmer Kartenschrift Feodora







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