Victor Hammer

Indices : Designers : Victor Hammer

Austrian, 1882--1967.

Victor Hammer was a portraitist and type designer who is known to contemporary typographers for his lifelong dedication to uncial script. An accomplished painter who turned to type desiign later in life, his most famous design is American Uncial, perhaps the most well-known uncial type in semi-common use. According to Robert Bringhurst, the typeface sold today as "American Uncial" is actually another of Hammer's types, Samson, and the typeface issued by Stempel as Neue Hammer Unziale is in reality American Uncial. It is unclear what Bringhurst's source for this assertion, found in Elements of Typographic Style, could be.

Hammer shared much in common with his contemporaries, Rudolf Koch and Paul Koch, the latter of whom cut one of his uncial types. Like them, he was totally dedicated to his art and craftsmanship, and like Rudolf, he was an intensely religious man who found spirituality in his constant efforts to perfect his uncial types. Due to the influence of the Arts & Crafts movement, uncial types saw periodic revivals throughout the 20th Century, but none of them are as elegantly incised as Hammer's types. His typefaces include the aforementioned Samson, American Uncial, and Neue Hammer Unziale, as well as Andromaque, a "cursive uncial".

More on Hammer can be found in Sebastian Carter's 20th Century Type Designers, from which some of the facts in this entry were taken.

Neue Hammer Unziale, Hammer Unziale (an older version of Neue Hammer Unziale) and Hammerschrift are original Klingspor typefaces.

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