Super Grotesk scans

For a historical background post about Zhurnalnaya roublennaya, I’m looking for a scan (or good photo) of a Super Grotesk specimen that we could use. Zhurnalnaya is the hot metal (and phototype) original that GT Eesti is loosely based on.

I couldn’t find a photo on Flickr of it that includes CC license and commercial use, so I figured I’d see if anybody here could help. Thank you!


  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,457
    I assume you mean older than the Grilli type Eesti?
  • Optimally the specimen would be from a Schriftguß specimen, but any Typoart specimen would be a great start, too. All Typoart (*1951) specimens are younger than (the Cyrillic portion of) Zhurnalnaya roublennaya, which was first released in 1947.
  • Hi Thierry, I could offer a plain glyph set if that is enough for your purposes. For images from a proper specimen, ask Jan Middendorp – he posted some scans to Flickr once. Alternatively, ask Ralf Herrmann of the Letter Library. Make sure to show the metal Super-Grotesk as designed by Arno Drescher for Schriftguss in the 1930s, and not the revised phototype version made by Karl-Heinz Lange in the 1980s. Although it bears the same name, latter clearly deviates from the original: larger x-height, harmonized widths, round instead of square dots, several distinct details (splayed M, straight t) – not to mention the style range.

    Internationally Zhurnalnaya Roublennaya is probably better known as Journal Sans.
  • Thierry BlancpainThierry Blancpain Posts: 197
    edited February 2016
    Hi Florian, that could work, thank you! My email would be thierry at grillitype. I’ll also ask Ralf and Jan.

    You’re right to note Journal Sans. Speaking only of the Latin alphabet: aside from the really shoddy drawing quality, it’s about as faithful a revival as ITC Garamond ;) Journal Sans New (released 2014) is drawn better, but also veers far from the original at times, for example with its humanist italic and a Display with totally different proportions.

    The upcoming post will show similarities (and differences) between a few older typefaces like Drescher’s and Zhurnalnaya roublennaya, and also contain a general (very short) history of Soviet typesetting.
  • Optimally the specimen would be from a Schriftguß specimen, but any Typoart specimen would be a great start, too.
    Are you familiar with the standard Schriftmusterkartei (TGL 10-056) every publisher in the GDR used to, or was expected to, have handy?

    Super-Grotesk and Super-Buchgrotesk are shown fairly exhaustively on those cards—in all weights, styles and point sizes.
  • I did not! I know very little about DDR type overall. Thank you, I’ll keep an eye out for those, too!
  • Wei HuangWei Huang Posts: 97
    edited February 2016
  • Thierry BlancpainThierry Blancpain Posts: 197
    edited February 2016
    Thanks Wei! I’ve been talking to Stephen directly by email. I should be covered! :) Thanks everyone for the help!
  • If you ever need anything else: we have lots of Super Grotesk in real metal type, all sizes. Could always set up some proofs to your spec and print them.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,337
    Thank you, these are really interesting.
  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 989
    edited October 2016
    Here are the rest of the Super Grotesk snapshots I took for Thierry. If you'd like better images (hi-res scans or photos without glare or a bunch of hands all over everything) you can request them directly from Letterform Archive
  • Thierry BlancpainThierry Blancpain Posts: 197
    edited October 2016
    By the way, we used @Florian Hardwig’s scan for Ivar Sakk’s article on Zhurnalnaya roublennaya on FIU, the typeface that we revisited as GT Eesti. Thanks again Florian!
  • You’re most welcome!
  • And I somehow forgot to mention: Thank you also for editing the FIU article, Florian!
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