TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Mon Apr 15 05:35:32 EDT 2024






Samuel Louis "Sem" Hartz

Dutch designer at Johan Enschedé en Zonen in Haarlem, whose work was also published by Stephenson Blake and Linotype. Born in Leiden in 1912, he died in Haarlem in 1995. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts (Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten) in Amsterdam, specializing in engraving. He joined Enschedé in 1936 where he would become art director. During the war, like many other Dutch Jews, he had to hide in closets and secret rooms. Sem writes about his time at Enschedé: As you know,I am a designer and engraver, mostly of postage stamps and banknotes, sometimes of books and dust-jackets, zegt Hartz, I have designed more than a hundred stamps and banknotes for The Netherlands, Belgian Congo, Luxemburg, Indonesia, United Nations etcetera. My practice has been to rough out the design and afterwards cut it immediately in steel or copper. For stamps I relied on the best lettering one could possibly get, Jan Van Krimpen. In 1953, he became professor at the Plantin Genootschap in Antwerp. Hartz made these typefaces:

  • Juliana (Linotype, 1958). The original commission by Walter Tracy dates back to 1952. Many penguin editions used Juliana. In 2006, Mathieu Lommen published Sem Hartz and the Making of Linotype Juliana (Inferno Press, Vancouver). Digitizations of Juliana include Juliana Text (Linotype) and Juliana Text by David Berlow at Font Bureau.
  • Emergo (1949, Enschedé). A typeface that was never released. Hertz wrote The Emergo Type in PAGA, volume 2, number 3, pages 57-60, 1954. The article explains his cooperation and apprenticeship with Jan Van Krimpen and P.H. Rädisch (Van Krimpen's punch-cutter), and his hopes of using Emergo in his press and of his plans of spending time at Officina Bodoni in Verona with Giovanni Mardersteig.
  • Molé Foliate (1960). Molé Foliate is a great floriated caps font designed by the Parisian founder Molé, with floral decorations inside the open typeface 3d letters. Redrawn in 1960 by Hartz at Stephenson Blake. A free digital version, Molé Foliated, was made in 1997 by an unknown designer.
  • Panture (1971). A typeface designed for Enschedé's Pantotype system. Read about it in Ramiro Espinoza's interview in 2018 with Piet Jacobs.

Lines&Splines reports the famous line by Hartz about Jan van Krimpen, his predecessor at Enschedé: the story of Van Krimpen's life could be subtitled, From Angry Young Man to Angry Old Man (note: Van Krimpen did not get along with many people.)

A collection of Hartz's correspondence and prints (from his own press, Tuinwijkpers) can be found at the University of Amsterdam. He also designed some Dutch postage stamps.

Books by or about Hartz:

  • Sem Hartz: The Elseviers and their contemporaries: an illustrated commentary (1955, Joh. Enschedé & Zonen, Haarlem, Amsterdam/Brussels).
  • Sem Hartz: Essays, compiled by Mathieu Lommen, 1992 (Serifpers, Amsterdam).
  • Chr. de Moor [et al.]: S. L. Hartz in de grafische wereld, 1969.
  • Mathieu Lommen: Letterontwerpers: gesprekken met Dick Dooijes, Sem Hartz, Chris Brand, Bram de Does, Gerard Unger, 1987>
  • Mathieu Lommen: Sem Hartz and the making of Linotype Juliana, in: Quaerendo: a quarterly journal from the Low Countries devoted to manuscripts and printed books, vol. 36, 2006.

Samuel Louis "Sem" Hartz
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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