International Sign Painters of the World, Unite and Take Over.

by Arthur on Thursday, August 26, 2010

in Color,Design,Technique,Typography

Arrenbrecht, Wilhelm. Der Schriftenmaler.  Internationales Schriften-Vorlage-Werk. Cologne, ca. 1895.  [46260]

Caracteres Réclame

"Caractères Réclame."

Once upon a time, merchants hoping to make a good impression on potential customers didn’t hire graphical user interface consultants, they hired top-flight sign painters.  Elegant hand-painted lettering in a shop window announced to passers-by that the proprietor had class and sophistication.  Based on an exceedingly rare portfolio of lettering samples we’ve acquired, Wilhelm Arrenbrecht seems to have been the go-to guy for tasteful mercantile announcements in the better windows of central Europe, circa 1890.

From simple prismatic font kits to baroque alphabetical fantasias, Der Schriftenmaler offered his clients (and presumably, clients of any sign painter who purchased the portfolio) an inspired range of lettering options.

Arrenbrecht , Wilhelm. Der Schriftenmaler.  Internationales Schriften-Vorlage-Werk.

Arrenbrecht , Wilhelm. Der Schriftenmaler. Internationales Schriften-Vorlage-Werk.

40 of them to be exact.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Caracteres Blocs Prismatiques

"Caractères Blocs Prismatiques."

Caractères Anglais

"Caractères Anglais."

Caracteres Lapiditaires
“Caractères Blocs Lapidaires.”
Caractères Fantaisie
“Caractères Fantaisie.”

It’s worth noting that Arrenbrect clearly intended to address an international audience.  The work is titled in German, but the plates are labeled in French.  Furthermore, several of them supply lettering appropriate for specific languages, including Cyrillic and Hebraic characters.

Charactères Italiques

"Charactères Italiques."

Charactères Allemands Anciens

"Charactères Allemands Anciens"

Caracteres Russes

"Caractères Russes."

Charactères Hébraïques

"Charactères Hébraïques"

If any of our readers are clever enough to repackage these plates as digital font kits, we imagine they could make a killing. I, for one, would love to see how “Recto|Verso” would look rendered in Arrenbrect Caractères Réclame.

UPDATE, 9/7/2010:

Cult London-based graphic designer Arnoud Verhaeghe granted my wish.

Recto|Verso in Arrenbrect Caractères Réclame

Recto|Verso in Arrenbrect Caractères Réclame. Thanks Arnoud...

Amazing!

FAB Item I.D. # 46260.

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{ 4 trackbacks }

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Arthur Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Wow, that’s great luck. The set is extremely rare as far as we can tell. The item in our stock sold not long after I posted the blog link. Thanks for sharing your find with our readers…

2 sudamericanas@gmail.com Friday, October 22, 2010 at 11:20 PM

Hi!
I’m from Chile, and I bought the same catalog!! (at an antique shop)
In fact, i’m working on digitizing the fonts :)
When i will finish the job, I’ll contact for sure!
Greetings.

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