What Happened to Kabel Regular?

akma's picture

I just received the Fontshop newsletter and was assiduously reading it when I followed their links to the rival (ITC and Koch) versions of Kabel. As I peered at the Monotype/Koch version, I noticed with some disappointment that although the light, heavy, and black weights retain the bent terminal of the lower-case "A," the regular weight seems to have suffered the sad excision of the distinctive bend in favor of a colorless arc.

Am I over-examining the differences? Is there a story behind the design decision to differentiate the regular weight from its heavier and lighter neighbors?

Stephen Coles's picture

When you say "Regular" I assume you mean the Book weight of Kabel? It does look like it has less sharp of a bend than the other weights. I can't say what was in Koch's mind, but I do think this is the closest digital representation of his original.

fontplayer's picture

I do like that Kabel Light sample in your newsletter. Not to mention Carl and Nick's entries, and Stainless. And serifs on Univers looks better than I'd imagine. (now back to your regular programming).

Robert Trogman's picture

The Monotype version of Kabel was released under the name of Sans Serif to avoid royalty payments to Klingspor the original foundry.

Stephen Coles's picture

I'm not sure if "Sans Serif" ever made it to the digital world, Robert, but this particular Kabel is actually the Linotype version. It's simply available from Monotype, which is essentially the same company now.

Florian Hardwig's picture

fontplayer wrote: And serifs on Univers looks better than I’d imagine

SC/FontFeed wrote: But one thing Serifa has that Univers doesn’t have is a weight this light.

Just because you don’t distribute it, doesn’t mean there is none: Univers 130 Basic Ultra Light
:°D

Jackie Frant's picture

Linotype still makes regular KABEL - you know, the kind you liked before it was redrawn by ITC

See comparison here: http://www.myfonts.com/search?search%5Btext%5D=kabel

akma's picture

Yes, Stephen, sorry; I meant Kabel Book.

Still wondering why Book lacks that element, which adorns the other weights so distinctively.

Stephen Coles's picture

Florian - Thank you! Honestly didn't know that one. I better get on Lino's case about sending us the full family.

Jackie - that's the one we're discussing.

Robert Trogman's picture

You are right Stephen. Linotype purchased the assets of the Klingspor foundry along with D. Stemple AG. I have the original showing from Klingspor circa 1930.

dan_reynolds's picture

Steven:
"Florian - Thank you! Honestly didn’t know that one. I better get on Lino’s case about sending us the full family."
Univers 130 is from the Linotype Univers family, not the old Univers. You can tell by the three-digit numbering system, instead of the two-digit system – http://www.linotype.com/1813-15548/numerationsystem.html

Robert:
The Klingspor situation is a bit more complicated ;-)
D. Stempel AG became a partial owner of the Klingspor foundry in 1917. In the mid-1950s, they assumed the foundry altogether. Klingspor closed, and they brought most of the typefaces into their own manufacturing & delivery program.

Stempel had been a Linotype partner since the early 1900s. They were the manufacturers and distributors of Linotype matrices in Germany, and they later collaborated on typeface design projects, like Helvetica (1961) and Neue Helvetica (1983), fjust to name two examples. Linotype fully aquired Stempel in 1985. Several current Linotype employees started their careers at Stempel, like Otmar Hoefer, for instance.

Most of this info is on Linotype's history page online, and in this book – http://www.linotype.com/3176/alineoftype.html

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