DIN Typeface

david_fung's picture

Hey Guys,

I was wondering if anyone knew where I'd find infomation about the development of the DIN typeface. I know Font Shop redid a version of it in the 90's, but does anyone know anything else about it? Thanks again.


David Fung

jupiterboy's picture

From LinoType.

About DIN 1451 Font Family

DIN stands for Deutsche Industrienorm, German Industrial Standard. In 1936 the German Standard Committee settled upon DIN 1451 as the standard font for the areas of technology, traffic, administration and business. The Committee chose a sans serif font because of its legibility and because its forms are also easy to write. This font was not foreseen for advertisements and other 'artistically oriented uses' and there were disagreements about its aesthetic qualities. Nevertheless, DIN font was seen everywhere in Germany, on signs for towns and traffic, and hence made its way into advertisements because of its ease of recognition.

david_fung's picture

Do you know if there's anything else James? Maybe something more in depth. .I'm not even sure who developed the original. Thanks again.

david_fung's picture

sorry abt the repost.. i think there was a problem with my refresh.

rustam's picture

David, I recommend you this link. But it`s in Russian.


david_fung's picture

thanks rustam.. do you think you could translate that.. heh.

albertjan_pool's picture

FontShop has done a booklet on FF DIN. Its part of the FontFocus Series. You can obtain it through the FontShop dealers.
The most recent publication on the history of DIN are the FF DIN panels from the travelling

david_fung's picture

Thanks Albert. I just translated and read this feature with you on sostav.ru

albertjan_pool's picture

The Russian article was done by a student from the postgraduate course at the Royal Academy in The Hague. David, can you post a decent translation?

And for the German reading audience: you will find an article on FF DIN in the next issue of AGD Quartal, the quarterly magazine of AGD, Alliance of German Designers. It shows nice photographs from the Centre Pompidou (Paris). In 2000 Integral

david_fung's picture

the original page is // http://www.sostav.ru/columns/dutch/2004/10/

you can use this to correspond with the imagery.


Dutch track on the German roads

4 already it got tired to be surprised so that everything which me here surrounds it possesses one or other degree or another of legendary nature. Here and this time, in guests visited the now famous former student Of kAVKi Albert- Jan floor (Albert- Jean Pool):

In those times, when Albert was here student in the 80th, under the management of one additional legend of Gerrit Of nordiya (Gerrit Noordzij) of department Type&.Media yet there did not exist, but academy already became slowly incubator for the type designers. The group of talented young shriftovikov organized then the creative group Letters, into composition of which entered the future celebrities: Frank Blokland (Dutch Type Library), Petr Van Blokland, Jelle Bosma, Lucas de Groot, Bart de Haas, Henk Van Leyden, Peter-Matthias Noordzij (The Enschede Font Foundry), Marie-Cecile Noordzij-Pulles, Just Van Rossum and Peter Verheul. Children were gathered, by their "powerful heap", discussed types, they shared experience - that still it is possible to make in the student companies...


But our hero after studies leaves for Germany, for Hamburg, where he begins to work first in company Scangraphic,
and then also in URW++. For the latter it develops types URW Imperial, URW Linear, URW Mauritius.
Then Albert- Jan organizes in Hamburg his own design the studio, which now is called FarbTon (before - Dutch Type):

One of the most known works of its studio of steel type and the firm style of the network of gasoline pumps Jet:

First sketches...

Another, not less known work, type for Company Hein Gaz, designed together with designers DTL:

During the cold days - as into the warm. Hein Gaz For the more humane heat-

To man it is necessary a little heat. Hein Gaz For the more humane heat-

Then Albert- Jan floor obtains proposal from corporation FontFont (using the case, I congratulate it with the fifteen-year period!) on the development of new type on basis the set of first half of the century (of past) German commercial standard Deutsche Industrie Norm - DIN.
Albert- Jan with happiness agrees, after solving that work is not so complex, as it is interesting. However, after studying serious studies it reveals more than thousand different it is type developed by DIN- institute during the period from the beginning on the middle of century...

including the early...

including by the way, and the cyrillic alphabet, developed in 1943...

besides, into these standards entered not only types, but also logotypes...

But also reveals a large quantity of inscriptions, which were preserved on the old buildings, those sometimes written multilayer, by different types, and on the tables...

even children's stencils for study and drawing of letters were described once in DIN...

After processing all this sea of type information, Albert- Jan floor produces to light FF DIN - perfect German type, created, first of all, on base DIN-Mittelschrift of 1451:

Now this type became the integral part of Germany and is used for guide sign...

(here, by the way, last development in the region of "road" it is type from James montal'ban by the name ClearView)

for the advertisement and the periodicals...

Thus, Albert- Jan was one of the first researchers, who turned upside-down the storages of the old DINovskix it was type. And theme proved to be such interesting that many type offices already solved (but how much still they will solve!) in it to pokopat'sya:

Engschrift DIN 1421 by URW++

DIN Neuzeit By Linotype

DIN 1451 By Linotype

She wrote down from the words of the author Julia bogatko

aaron_carambula's picture

Most educational, thank you david for the translation. It's also a great story, I look forward to more of this kind of thing.

If I may, I have some questions about the design of DIN, Mr. Pool, if you would be so kind. Can we assume that the decisions made in the design, very unique things like the comma and the at symbol, come from your research? Are the alternate characters, such as the circular period and single story 'a' also from varieties of the original? Or are these things that you brought to the face to make it more versatile?

Just curious, thought I'd take the chance to ask, thanks for your time,

filip blazek's picture

Next issue of Typo Magazine (# 17) will bring a long story and many unpublished photos and drawings of DIN typeface and its history. Compiled by Albert-Jan Pool.

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