Typoart GmbH (or: VEB Typoart)
Dresden (East Germany)-based font studio that evolved from the former East German centralized press, VEB Typoart. VEB Typoart operated from 1948 until 1989, when it was renamed Typoart GmbH. Typoart GmbH dissolved mysteriously in 1995. MyFonts catalog of digitizations. Timeline as provided by Typoart-Freunde, a project of Jay Rutherford at the Bauhaus University in Weimar (and published in 2007 in a book by the same title, Heinz Wohlers Verlag, Harrlach):
Typoart Freunde and Typowiki have partial lists of typefaces. Here is my own:
- 1945: Schriftguß KG (before that, Gebr. Butter) produces type again.
- 1946: Schelter&Giesecke in Leipzig becomes VEB Druckmaschinenwerk Leipzig.
- 1948: Schriftguß KG becomes VEB Schriftguß Dresden. This is the true start of Typoart.
- 1951: the foundry section of VEB Druckmaschinenwerk Leipzig is absorbed by the VEB Schriftguß Dresden. Herbert Thannhaeuser becomes art director. We see the name Typoart.
- 1952: Herbert Thannhaeuser publishes Papier und Druck, and creates Meister-Antiquq and Technotype.
- 1957: Typoart is in full production now. An eyecatcher is Albert Kapr's Leipziger Antiqua.
- 1958: Thannhaeuser publishes his Liberta Antiqua and Garamond Antiqua. The Party decides that all private industrial property now belongs to the state.
- 1961: Typoart absorbs Ludwig Wagner KG in Leipzig and Norddeutsche Schriftgießerei Berlin. The Berlin wall is built.
- 1962: There is some negative press about Typoart's domination by Thannhaeuser's designs. VEB Typoart is absorbed by Vereinigung Volkseigener Betrieb (VVB) Polygrafische Industrie.
- 1963: Thannhaeuser dies. Albert Kapr becomes art director.
- 1965: The annual production reaches 4,5 million matrices. Purchase of the Digiset machine, built by Firma hell in Kiel, which is the first machine for electronic typesetting.
- 1967: Sabon Antiqua appears.
- 1970: Typoart is now owned by SED. In the DDR, all phototype printing is now done in Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden.
- 1971: Typoart is now producing its own phototype for the Linotron 505. Their prime productions include Maxima (by Karl-Heinz Lange; based on Gert Wunderlich's Linear-Antiqua) and Prillwitz-Antiqua (Albert Kapr).
- 1973: Albert Kapr publishes Typoart-Typenkunst, in which 19 typefaces are showcased.
- 1976: Phototype fonts are developed for Diatype, Diacomp (such as Maxima, Liberta, Garamond-Antiqua, Tschörtner-Antiqua, Leipziger-Antiqua), and 2NFA (Russian). Detlef Schäfer becomes head of research and development.
- 1977: To help with the digital transition, Norbert du Vinage joins Typoart.
- 1980: New types include Kleopatra, Biga, Zyklop, Quadro and Molli.
- 1987: Albert Kapr hands the art directorship to Norbert du Vinage. Publication of the first phototype catalog by Typoart.
- 1989: Publication of Fotosatzschriften, Typoart's typeface program. Typoart folds.
- 1990: VEB Typoart is changed into a GmbH with 230 employees.
- 1991: Eckehart Schumacher Gebler acquires all of Typoart's matrices. This collection is kept in the Werkstätten und Museum für Druckkunst Leipzig GmbH. Typoart GmbH and HL Computer (Karl Holzer's company) are joined.
- 1995: Typoart GmbH still has 100 employees. It offers typefaces in truetype and postscript formats. Albert Kapr dies in Leipzig. The demise of Typoart is mysterious, and not much is known about who owes what to whom. This page mentions the present situation. Andreas Seidel explains that Typoart has digitized lots of its type typefaces using Ikarus, and that the rights are held by Mr. Holzer, who may be in some financial trouble. He says that no living Typoart designers has received any royalties or public recognition.
- Alte Schwabacher: blackletter by Herbert Lemme.
- Bembo: Typoart's version is by Erhard Kaiser.
- Biga: a shaded headline typeface made by Fritz Richter in 1985.
- Caslon-Gotisch: a blackletter typeface originally created by William Caslon in 1760, it was brought to Leipzig from England in 1904 by Carl Ernst Pöschel.
- Eckmann: a soft blackletter, dating from 1900.
- Erler Versalien (1953, Herbert Thannhaeuser). Digital versions: Erler Titling (2015, Ralph M. Unger), Missale Incana (2004, Andreas Seidel).
- Fette Antiqua: a headline typeface made by Barbara Cain.
- Garamond (1955): the metal Typoart version is by Herbert Thannhaeuser. The digital version is Garamond No.5 at Elsner&Flake. See also here. URW published a different digital version, Garamond No. 4. And Infinitype / SoftMaker says that its German Garamond is based on TypoArt's.
- Fleischmann: a serif based on Fleischmann's historical face. An original cursive by Harald Brödel was added.
- Halbfette Baskerville: an interpretation of Baskerville by Volker Küster.
- Hogarth Script: an elegant script based on 18th century copperplate originals by William Hogarth. Font by Harald Brödel. Digital versions at URW, Softmaker (as Hobson), Alexandra Gophmann (Cyrillic version, 2005), Ralph M. Unger (as Gillray Pro, 2015), Castcraft (as OPTI Historic Script), Linotype and Elsner&Flake. Incredibly, Linotype owns the Hogarth Script trademark.
- Kis Antiqua: Hildegard Korger's interpretation of this classic Dutch Antiqua by Nikolaus Kis.
- Kleopatra: a double-line decorative typeface by Erhard Kaiser (1985), digitized in 1989.
- Leipziger Antiqua: a very legible Antiqua designed by Albert Kapr in 1959, developed for phototypesetting by Hans-Peter Greinke, and further developed in digital form by Tim Ahrens in 2002 as Lapture.
- Liberta: a robust house typeface from 1958 made by Herbert Thannhaeuser.
- Luthersche Fraktur: a blackletter by Volker Küster and Herbert Lemme, digitized in 1989.
- Magna: a DDR magazine text typeface from 1968, by Herbert Thannhaeuser. In 1975, Albert Kapr added Cyrillic letters. Karl-Heinz Lange developed the phototype. URW, Linotype and Elsner&Flake (who owns the trademark) have a digital version.
- Maxima: a sans family by Gert Wunderlich (1970). Elsner&Flake (who owns the trademak), Linotype and URW have a digital version.
- Minima: Karl-Heinz Lange's narrow sans designed for the DDR's telephone directory.
- Molli: a comic book typeface by Harald Brödel.
- Neutra: A variant of Clarendon, rendered more legible by Albert Kapr. Used in the DDR for advertising.
- Nidor: a slab serif by Harald Brödel.
- Norma-Steinschrift: a house sans.
- Prillwitz (1987): a didone by Albert Kapr and Werner Schulz. Elsner&Flake have a digital version.
- Primus: a 1962 workhorse family (with Magna and Timeless) for the magazines in the DDR. Conceived in 1962, it was later adapted in Phototype by Karl-Heinz Lange. However, the Berthold Photypes book of 1982 puts the date of creation at 1950.
- Publika: a sans typeface developed between 1981 and 1983 by Karl-Heinz Lange.
- Quadro: a four-line showstopper typeface by Erhard Kaiser.
- Schmalfette Antiqua: Barbara Cain's very narrow didone.
- Schwabacher T09, T20 and T48.
- Stentor: a brush script by Heinz Schumann (1964). Digital versions by Scangraphic, Ralph M. Unger (2013, as Tyton Pro), Elsner&Flake and URW. Rosalia (2004, Ingo Preuss) is based on Stentor.
- Super Grotesk: a legible sans by Arno Drescher (1930, Schriftguss). For a digital version, see FF Super Grotesk (1999, Svend Smital).
- Timeless (1982). See also Elsner&Flake and URW.
- Walbaum: a didone based on Walbaum's originals.
- Zyklop: an art nouveau/Jugendstil face.
Personal home page of Jay Rutherford. MyFonts link.
View Typoart's typefaces.
Typoart GmbH (or: VEB Typoart)
Monotype foundry link
Extinct 20th century foundries ⦿
German type scene ⦿
Commercial fonts (small outfits) ⦿
Blackletter fonts ⦿
Brush script typefaces ⦿
Photo and film type era ⦿
Art Nouveau typefaces ⦿
Bauhaus and type design ⦿
Modern style [Bodoni, Didot, Walbaum, Thorowgood, Computer Modern, etc.] ⦿
Bastarda / Bâtarde / Schwabacher ⦿
Garalde or Garamond typefaces ⦿
Telephone directory typefaces ⦿