History of Spurless Typefaces

Hi everyone!

  Does anyone know the origin of spurless typefaces? e.g. DTL Prokyon, Karbon, etc,


  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,457
    edited November 2016
    They go at least as far back as the early constructivists.  If you want a stretch, maybe even Cuneiform, or perhaps early greek inscription.  I know at least I was doing it in the early sixties but that is way late in the game, and I was not alone by any stretch.
  • Thank you Chris! 
  • When I think of 'early' spurless I always think of Skia, where the letterforms 'take inspiration from 1st century BC Greek writing'. It certainly has more of an early, glyphic sensibility than the more contemporary spurless typeface designs.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,059
    It’s more significant in otherwise “normal” types, eg Bernhard Gothic, than square types such as City. (Both c. 1930)

  • edited November 2016
    AFAIK the first type designer to do it was Hans Reichel.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,337
    edited November 2016
    I think Gustav Shroeder's Art Gothic from 1884 was probably influential. You know it from Murder She Wrote. It seems like the kind of thing that would have appeared on posters before it arrived in metal/wood. Advertiser's Gothic is a well-known, early spurless design but it came out 33 years later.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,585
    edited November 2016
    I agree with both @Ray Larabie and @Nick Shinn:

    - Bernhard Gothic (1929–1930) is the oldest typeface I know of that looks quite similar to DTL Prokyon and Karbon. It is their oldest direct spiritual ancestor, IMO. http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/spiecegraphics/bernhard-gothic-sg/

    - Art Gothic (1884) I see as one of the earliest typefaces in what would become art nouveau (though I won't be surprised if others disagree, as art nouveau proper started a decade later). While exploring organic curves, art nouveau lettering and type sometimes dropped those pesky spurs. In these cases it is just part of a bigger “look,” rather than the primary design feature. http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/urw/art-gothic/

  • Thank you everyone! I really appreciate it

  • This ain't type, but it is a set of spurless geometric letters that predate the Constructivists.
  • It’s all just a little bit of Typophile repeating …
    In this thread from 2010, Gustavo mentioned Semplicità (1930), and Karsten brought up a Grotesk made by Wagner & Schmidt in ca. 1920, cast by other foundries as Universal, Polar-Grotesk, Rund-Grotesk, Kristall-Grotesk – see a sample.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,059
    Come on, get real. It doesn’t count if the m and n don’t have the feature, otherwise you might just as well include Gill Sans and Hobo, and then where would we be? Spurless is spur-less, not some-spurs or very-few-spurs!
  • @Nick Shinn I think it's the idea that counts, no matter how few glyphs it's applied to.
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