Chart showing arms of Munich Breweries in the 1890s

A chart of Munichs brew­eries in the 1890s


August Genzsch co-founded the Genzsch and Heyse type foundry in Hamburg in 1833. Heyse died pretty soon so this is re­ally the Genzsch Foundry. Hermann Genzsch re­tires in 1933.

Genzsch was an ap­pren­tice at Breitkopf’s in­house type foundry, who still pub­lish mu­sic to­day. Then be­came a fore­man in a type foundry at Frankfurt, then moved onto Hamburg where he set up his own shop.

In 1834 G and H bought a foundry called Lampe which was ab­solutely an­cient (founded in 1589 pos­si­bly). With that pur­chase they got many punches and ma­tri­ces. Some very old, like a Schwabacher from the 17th cen­tury.

They in­tro­duced old style types into ger­man type found­ing. The genre comes from England, and they got their first set of ma­tri­ces from an English foundry. They were crit­i­cised at first, but these English styles be­came pop­u­lar quickly.

How did they buy ma­tri­ces? There was a big mar­ket for that. Only about half of type foundries made new type­faces, the rest just bought ma­tri­ces and pro­duced the type. There was elec­tro­plat­ing, which means you can copy ma­tri­ces, and you can copy ex­ist­ing type­faces with­out cut­ting new punches.

G and H though prob­a­bly al­ways did have their own punch­cut­ting unit. American wood type mak­ers started us­ing the pan­to­graph in the first half of the 19th cen­tury. Metal type pan­tographs prob­a­bly came from Germany, later in the cen­tury. The spread was slower be­cause the Germans were tra­di­tional and had plenty of good punch­cut­ters.

In 1876, a punch cut­ter named Albert Anklam joins the foundry from Berlin. Until 1885 he must have been the chief punch cut­ter, a key po­si­tion.

In 1876, they rease Neue Schwabacher (designed and cut by Anklam) - a mod­ernised ver­sion of Schwabacher from the 17th cen­tury. This was one of the most suc­ces­ful type re­leases in Germany up to that point.

It’s un­clear how many foundries bought copies of the ma­tri­ces, and how many just copied it with elec­tro­plat­ing. This was around the time Germany brought in patent law that al­lowed them to patent the de­sign, al­though that only pro­tected the de­sign for a few years. Because this was such, the ini­tal batch of foundries that sold this prob­a­bly bought the ma­tri­ces, while by the 1890s peo­ple were prob­a­bly steal­ing the de­sign.

Why the suc­cess of Neue Schwabacher? German uni­fi­ca­tion: un­til 1871, there was no Germany - just loosely con­nected ter­ri­to­ries form­ing a thing called the German em­pire. The first graphic style to be­come pop­u­lar in this new coun­try was deeply his­tori­cist.

There was a show in Munich called Our Fathers’ Works which re­vived in­ter­est in the German ren­nais­cance. This is why this his­tori­cist style is some­times called the Munich Renaisscance. Their heros were Dürer and Holbein.

Now onto Otto: Otto Hupp was trained in en­grav­ing by his fa­ther. His first comis­sion was a medal for a shoot­ing com­pe­ti­tion. The process for cut­ting punches for things like this is the same as you use for punch­cut­ting for type.

His pri­mary area of ac­tiv­ity was­n’t type de­sign or let­ter­ing but her­aldry: he’s a heraldic il­lus­tra­tor. His longest-run­ning graphic pro­ject were the Munich cal­en­dars. These are pretty wild re­lief prints. They were pop­u­lar, print runs of 27,000 copies at the height of their pop­u­lar­ity.

In Munich, Hupp be­comes at­tached to a dec­o­ra­tive artist called Seitz and starts draw­ing or­namets for type foundries - these were pretty im­por­tant at the time.

Emil Julius Genzsch comes to Munich and buys a lo­cal type foundry, turn­ing it into a sub­sidiary. It’s pos­si­ble that they stopped sell­ing their ma­tri­ces to do­mes­tic foundries at this point to German foundries, now that they could serve the whole coun­try (including the South).

Hupp starts work­ing for G and H. While the fac­tory was bombed in the Second World War, Hupp’s house was­n’t, which is why we still have many of his draw­ings.

We don’t know ex­actly how they went from the draw­ings to sorts. But here’s an idea: They pho­to­graph Hupps clean ink draw­ing. They trans­fer that onto a plate and etch it. They place the plate into a bath with a piece of cop­per to elec­tro­plate it. You make a cop­per form that you cut off from the orig­i­nal plate, mount and sell.

Colourful arms of different German towns, arranged in a 4x5 grid.

Page from Die Wappen und Siegel der Deutschen Städte, Flecken und Dörfer.


This hap­pens to be printed in Hupp’s first text face re­lease. This type­face was called Numesmatis. This was only made in 8pt, all caps, lom­bardic. This was for a spe­cific ed­i­to­r­ial de­sign need: They needed to tran­scribe text from seals in­side copy set in reg­u­lar Schwabacher.

In the 1890s they make a more am­bi­tious tpye­face: Neudeutsch. G and H printed sev­eral spec­i­mens and other mat­ter for it. The type­face comes out in 1899 or 1900. It has lots of sizes, ini­tials, or­na­ments. Hupp prob­a­bly did­n’t de­sign the spec­i­men. The de­sign of Neudeutsch does­n’t re­ally change be­tween point sizes, so Hupp prob­a­bly only sub­mit­ted one set of draw­ings. The fac­tory would have scaled these draw­ings pho­to­graph­i­cally with some slight mod­i­fi­ca­tions. Although they did­n’t use it here, Hupp did later think about op­ti­cal size ad­just­ments.

It’s a type genre that com­bines el­e­ments of ro­man and black­let­ter. Hupp was­n’t a cal­lig­ra­pher, he drew his let­ter­forms. Hupp never left the Munich ren­nais­cance, even when that was even­tu­ally re­placed by Jugendstil, the German branch of Art Noveau. Lettering in that time was ahis­tor­i­cal - based on na­ture, not on his­tor­i­cal ex­am­ples.

Neudeutsch was­n’t very suc­cess­ful be­cause a) there was a sim­i­lar type­face of the same name by an­other foundry, who also dis­trib­uted ma­tri­ces of their type­face to other firms and b) in 1900 Eckmann comes out, which be­comes a best­seller. Hupp hated it.

Hupp, like every­one else makes an Eckmann chal­lenger - Dreikönigsschrift. But this never comes out. The last type­face of Hupp’s is Heraldisch be­tween 1908 and 1910 - it’s unl­ceear how much hupp was in­volved here.

Between 1910 and 1924 hupp draws all kinds of type­faces for Klingspoor. The first type­face is a nar­row tex­tura called Lithurgisch. This was de­signed for re­li­gious pub­li­ca­tions, both for catholics and protes­tants. There’s a wild 1908 spec­i­men, prob­a­bly the longest one ever printed for a metal type­face. This is where they start to un­der­stand and use op­ti­cal siz­ing. Lithurgisch did­n’t sell that well.

1910 Klingspoor pub­lishes Hupp Fraktur. Hupp il­lus­trated the 1940 edi­tion of Klingspoors an­nual cal­en­dar - the 500th an­niver­sary of eu­ro­pean print­ing.