1944 fonts or ?

akira_takiguchi's picture


attached is a photo of a supposedly wartime (1944) german publication.
the fonts look almost OK but cannot persuade myself 100% if it is really period or modern (i.e. the document is a recent reproduction).

Is there anybody who can tell me the difference?

Best regards

PICT0366.jpg307.21 KB
Florian Hardwig's picture

Hi Akira,

I highly doubt that this is from 1944.
The font looks very much like Linotype’s digital version of Times.

riccard0's picture

The general feeling, and mostly those Helvetica numerals say "fake" to me.

Queneau's picture

It certainly is fake, for several reasons:

1. The fonts are not fitting with the period, Times excisted, Helvetica did not. It looks too clean, the outlines are too crisp (which would not be possible with technology of those days. Also I think the design would be either more elaborate (both fontwise and for the use of ornaments) or simpler (Typewriter like)

2. If it where real the actual press would have left marks, as the flat offset printing we are used to did not exist.

3. The paper looks fake. The maker of this obviously googled for "old paper in photoshop"...

Nick Shinn's picture

Also, "ch" and "ck" in German letterpress typography were single "logotypes", with very little space between the characters.

Igor Freiberger's picture

I don't believe it's fake. It just seems to be a recent folder/cover whose contents refers to 1944. But surely nor the fonts or the paper or even the print are from the '40s.

oldnick's picture

Here's an authentic document from the same era; there are major differences in type selection, layout, etc.

Theunis de Jong's picture

It is Times, but the Helvetica makes it more than questionable.

The Times text seems to me extraordinarily exact typeset, kerned and all -- what one expects nowadays from a high-rez laserprinter or photosetter. Would a pre-war Linotype be as exact?

Arno Enslin's picture

"Veränderter Nachdruck" means "changed reprint".


But it is regarding to the same year. Forget it.

Michel Boyer's picture

Here is another digitization from about the same period, this time from a mathematics journal, the Mathematische Annalen 1941-1943..

And here is a grab from page 645 of the same issue.

Si_Daniels's picture

You could do an image search for genuine Nazi machine gun manuals from the same period...


Maybe this one... http://www.stg.online.pl/images/articles/zdjecia/manual001.jpg

-'s picture

This might help. In fact, it appears to be precisely the same artifact. http://talks.guns.ru/forummessage/18/332596.html

-'s picture

Hmm. On the other hand, this looks quite different. In my opinion, it appears more authentic. It's definitely a different typeface, and, as was mentioned, there is some bleed. Plus, there is that underline! It's tough to tell what the story with that other version is.

Florian Hardwig's picture

The full booklet that Cody (cisforcody) linked to makes it even more obvious: this is a fake, very likely typeset in MS Word, complete with orthographic errors and incorrect hyphenation.
The image in the second post might be the original after which it was modelled.

dtw's picture

What immediately caught my eye was the spacing of the "1" on "1944" - tabular-looking spacing in the one being discussed, which suggests the computer; in Cody's last image the "1" is a lot tighter to the "9"...

JoergGustafs's picture

@ oldnick:
Well, the type selection would have been different from your example if it was from 1944 ;)

dberlow's picture

>...tabular-looking spacing in the one being discussed, which suggests the computer

Actually tabular figures were invented because they didn't have computers. :)


Nick Shinn's picture

Nonetheless, I would imagine that at some point in pre-computer history, an enterprising typefounder would have made a narrow "1" and added it to the font.

But where would it have been stored in the type tray?

Perhaps the trick was to design a typeface where the lower case "l" could double as a proportionally spaced "1".

At any rate, I wonder,

- When was the first proportional "1" cast?
- When was the first proportional set of figures cast?


For display settings, such as the authentic manuals shown above, the typographer had the option of spacing out the other figures to achieve proportional spacing in a figure setting, or shaving the "1" for the same effect.

Syndicate content Syndicate content