12 January 2017

Kabel 1927 – 2016.
The History of a Font

Klingspor Museum, Offenbach

– 12 February 2017



“[...] because until then there wasn’t a digital version of Kabel that you could work with properly.” This was Marc Schütz’s justification for his decision in the form interview (form 268, p.78) to develop a completely new font family after initially designing a new version of Kabel.


The original Kabel font was developed by the Offenbach typographer, Rudolf Koch, who worked in the town in the Rudhard foundry which was later taken over by Carl Klingspor. As a sans-serif Linear-Antiqua, Kabel represented the spirit of the times, but was, like many others, then overshadowed by Futura. Even its short-lived revival around 1970, as a Kabel version by ITC, was not a great success, meaning that Kabel remained unnoticed for a long time.

Much later, Marc Schütz, who had studied and also taught at the Offenbach University of Art and Design himself, decided to try redesigning it as he did not find the two available designs (Koch’s original and ITC’s version) suitable for copytext. Initially intended for the annual report, Schütz designed a regular and an italic cut for the font; three years later, he had designed a New Kabel with 18 cuts and 20,000 glyphs.

Now Klingspor Museum is displaying the comparison. Old samples and archive material from the Gebrüder Klingspor font foundry will be presented, together with the new design material developed by Marc Schütz. Visitors are given the opportunity to gain an impression of the original Kabel and at the same time to see the version by Marc Schütz adapted for digital use and the contemporary font.


Nº 282

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