What a Fine Specimen

As printing on paper is being increasingly reduced in favor of online and digital publishing, digital foundries are slashing the number of type specimens they produce, if any. Emigre Fonts holds on to tradition, but many of the other name brands have not. This is why it’s useful to see how specimens were produced in the 1920s and ’30s. This brochure for Metropolis designed by W. Schwerdtner (1928) from the Stempel Type Foundry–founded by David Stempel in Frankfurt am Main in 1895 (and distributed in the U.S. by Continental)–is a little gem. Although not much different from hundreds of others produced by Stempel, ATF, Bauer, and others, it nonetheless has a pristine beauty. From the cover (nothing goes better with black than red) and the sample settings to the examples of “real” advertisements. The tire in the Dunlap Tire ad makes you want to take the wheel for a spin.