German-American type designer (b. 1843, Berlin) who apprenticed at the Trowitzsch & Son type foundry in Berlin, and then worked as a punchcutter in Dresden and at the G. Haase & Sons foundry in Prague. After positions at the Flinsch foundry in Frankfurt, the Battenburg foundry in Paris, and the Fonderie Haas in Basel, Ihlenburg moved to the United States in 1866 to work for the L. Johnson & Company foundry in Philadelphia, which became MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan some time later. Specializing in ornamental (Victorian) fonts and borders, he designed over eighty typefaces for that Mackellar and a few more for American Type Founders after it purchased MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan in 1901. Ihlenburg became an American citizen in 1874, and died in Philadelphia in 1905. He will be remembered as the prototypical Victorian type designer.
His typefaces at MacKellar:
- American (1876), Angular Text (1884, a Victorian blackletter at MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan; digitally interpreted by Toto in his free font K22 Angular Text (2012) and by Alan Jay Prescott as Angolan Text (2017)), Arboret (1884), Arboret No. 2 (1885), Archaic (1888), Artistic (1886), Attic (1879). Artistic was revived by Alan Jay Prescott in 2017 as Beltane Roman. He wrote: this letterform started out in 1886 as drawn by the great Herman Ihlenburg as Artistic and assigned to MacKellar Smiths & Jordan. Dan Solo called this face Belmont but only showed caps and was suspect anyway. I was able to find specimens elsewhere and a motherlode of other interesting things in the Inland Printer. I developed my first full-featured OTF using this typeface and designed Greek and Cyrillic glyphs as well. I also fitted it out with a set of small caps to make a font that now has 4,000 glyphs for nearly every non-Asian language. To top it off, Robert Donona revived the decorative caps for this typeface, an excruciating task that I once considered for myself but was lucky enough to have this other crazy person take up. The number of hours dedicated between Robert and myself in reviving this complete series digitally is probably unprecedented.
- Bijou (1883: digital copies include Bangle (1990-1991, FontBank), Riccio Display Script by Southern Software (1994, SSi, SSK), Grebe (1994, by an anonymous designer) and Mexacali by Swfte), Black Ornamented (1873), Broadgauge Ornate (1868: a spurred Western typeface at MacKellar Smiths & Jordan; revived by Michael Hagemann), Byzantine (1868).
- Centennial Script (1874, a spectacular high-contrast script digitized in 2007 by Canada Type and in 2011 as a free font called Mortem Stylus by Stylus, and by Intellecta Design as Centennial Script), Chaucer (1883), Childs (1892, revived by R. Beatty, and by Ingo Preuss as Daring), Circular Black (1883), Columbian (1891), Columbus (1890: for metal recuts, see Victor Hugo by Nebiolo and Columbia (1909) by Urania); for digital revivals, see Cristoforo by Thomas Phinney, 2012, Cristoforo (2012) by SoftMaker, F37 Drago (2021, Rick Banks) and Colombo by Ingo Preuss), Columbus No.2, Columbus Outline (1892), Copperplate (1877), Crayon (1886), Culdee (1885).
- Dado (1882), Drapery Border (1876), Dynamo (1891).
- Elliptical Border (1878), Eureka Text (1870, blackletter), Eureka Shaded (1870).
- Ferdinand (1892, now at Dover), Filigree (1878), Fillet (1890), Flourish Ornaments (1884).
- Glyptic, Glyptic No. 2 and Glyptic Shaded (1878), Gothic Ornate (?), Greenback (1871), Grolier (1887), Gutenberg (1888).
- Houghton (ca. 1880). Same as Edison. Revived by Jim Spiece as Edison Swirl SG.
- Illuminated and Illuminated No. 2 (1876), Isabella (1892, a bastarda face; digital version at Agfa, Adobe, and Linotype, 2001), Italic Copperplate (1878).
- Japanesque and Japanesque No. 2 (1877, oriental simulation typefaces), Johnson (1892).
- Lady Text (1884, blackletter), Lippincott (before 1895).
- MediaevalText and Mediaeval Text Ornate (1870, blackletter), Minaret (1868), Minster (1878), Mortised and Mortised No. 2 (1884).
- Newfangle (1892, revived in 2015 by Nick Curtis as Newfangle NF), Nymphic (1889 [Ruffa says 1884], revived by Barmee in Secesja Pro (2013), and by Paul D. Hunt (2004), who published it as Kilkenny (2005, P22)).
- Obelisk (1881), Oxonian (1881). Digital revival of Obelisk in 2014 by Robert Donona.
- Pencraft (1885; digital revival in 2013 by Robert Donona), Pencraft No.2, Phidian (1870, redone by Dan X. Solo), Philadelphian (1867; digital revival by Michael Hagemann as Philadelphian in 2020), Pynson (1887).
- Quenn Bess Script (1882).
- Radiant (1876), Radiant Antique (1876: a money font), Radiated (1871), Relievo (1878), Relievo No. 2 (1879), Rimpled (1895), Ringlet (1882, the prototypical Victorian typeface; Dan X. Solo and George Williams made different digital versions in 1998 which are both also called Ringlet), Romanesque (1874).
- Sansom Script (1888), School Text (1876), Spiral (1890, revived by R. Beatty), Stipple (1890), Stylus and Stylus No. 2 (1883).
- Tendril (1878), Tilted (1886), Treasury (1874), Treasury Open (1875).
- Unique (1874), Unique No. 2 (1875).
- Zinco (1891, revived by Jim Spiece in 2002 as Zinc Italian SG).
At ATF: Taylor Gothic (1894), Schoeffer Old Style (1897: revived and extended by Alfonso Garcia in 2020 as Spirits), Roundhand Series (1902), Post Oldstyle Roman No. 2 (1901---possibly made by E.J. Kitson and/or Guernsey Moore), Post Oldstyle Italic (1901), Ihlenburg Series (1900?), Bradley Series (1895-1897, now at Dover), American Italic (1902). Ludlow offers a digital version of Hannibal.
Comments on some typefaces by Mac McGrew:
- American Italic is a heavy, novel design by Herman Ihlenburg introduced by ATF in 1902, as a companion to Columbus, which had been designed for ATF's MacKellar Smiths&Jordan branch in 1892. The italic survived its roman mate, being shown by itself in 1906, but was gone by 1912. It is essentially a nineteenth-century design.
- Bradley (or Bradley Text) was designed by Herman Ihlenburg-some sources credit it to Joseph W. Phinney--from lettering by Will H. Bradley for the Christmas cover of an Inland Printer magazine. It was produced by ATF in 1895, with Italic, Extended, and Outline versions appearing about three years later. It is a very heavy form of black-letter, based on ancient manuscripts, but with novel forms of many letters. Bradley and Bradley Outline, which were cut to register for two-color work, have the peculiarity of lower alignment for the caps than for the lowercase and figures, as may be seen in the specimens; Italic and Extended align normally. The same typeface with the addition of German characters (some of which are shown in the specimen of Bradley Extended) was sold as Ihlenburg, regular and Extended. Similar types, based on the same source and issued about the same time, were St. John by Inland Type Foundry, and Abbey Text by A. D. Farmer&Son. They were not as enduring as Bradley, which was resurrected for a while in 1954 by ATF. Also compare Washington Text.
- Round Hand was designed for ATF about 1900, and has been ascribed to Herman Ihlenburg. It has the appearance of handwriting with a broad pen, but letters are not quite connected.
- Schoeffer Old Style [No.2] was designed by Herman Ihlenburg for ATF in 1897. It is typical of a number of typefaces of the day-a plainly lettered roman with small, blunt serifs. Some references list Schoeffer Condensed, cut in 1902; this is probably the typeface shown a little later as Adver Condensed (q.v.). On Linotype, Schaeffer Oldstyle was called Elzevir No.2.
In 2021, Noah Bryant set out to revive many of Ihlenburg's Victorian typefaces.
Ihlenburg at the Rochester Institute of Technology's Cary Graphic Arts Collection.
Klingspor Museum page
Type designers ⦿
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Type scene in Pennsylvania ⦿
Oriental simulation fonts ⦿
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German type scene ⦿
Typefaces that emulate crayons ⦿
Art Nouveau typefaces ⦿