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Words by Michel Wlassikoff

“Type. Une sélection de caractères d’imprimerie” by Rudolf Hostettler — A notable 1958 compilation amidst the rise of phototypesetting and Swiss typography"

An ideal roster of late 1950s type foundries, and also their swan song before the 1970s crunch.
An ideal roster of late 1950s type foundries, and also their swan song before the 1970s crunch.
In 1958, the publication of Une sélection de caractères d’imprimerie (A Selection of Printing Types) corresponds to the revival in the publishing of catalogs and prescribing collections for graphic designers for the choice of the best types to use within the framework of their works. The period is crucial because the traditional type foundries begin to face competition from photocomposition and, moreover, the Swiss style imposes itself, advocating the reduced use of types, in priority almost exclusively covering Univers and Helvetica – the latter still being called Neue Haas Grotesk within the Sélection.
The following foundries are stated to have supplied the types which are presented: Bauer and Stempel, in Frankfurt, Deberny et Peignot, in Paris, Enschedé and Amsterdam in Holland, Haas in Switzerland, The Monotype Corporation in London, Nebiolo in Turin. These foundries are among the oldest and most prestigious in Europe, and this Sélection is a bit like their swan song. In the following years, they will all decline and be subject to bankruptcies and takeovers; the only one that will survive is The Monotype Corporation.

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