An Early Snowtype

The snow-themed alphabets below all belong to the world of lettering rather than typography, but typefounders have made their share of snow-covered fonts as well. Some of these go back quite a bit further than I imagined, as I learned this afternoon: at lunch, Tobias mentioned offhandedly that he remembered being surprised to see a snow-covered typeface in a specimen book from Weimar Germany. “I don’t remember which book it was,” he added, a sure-fire way of triggering a typographic wild goose chase at the office.

Half an hour later, and covered in dusty fragments of brittle yellow paper, we found it. Naturally it was in none of the specimen books that we thought to check first, from the Bauer, Berthold, Klingspor, Ludwig and Mayer, Schelter & Giesecke, Schriftguss, Klinkhardt, C. E. Weber, or Flinsch foundries. It was lurking on page 120p of Die Haupt Probe, otherwise known as The Behemoth: the 1,478-page, six-kilogram, scanner-breaking type specimen of the Stempel Foundry, issued in 1925, and thought to be the largest typefoundry specimen book ever produced. Behold Schneekönigin, a snow-capped adaptation of the Fette Teutonia typeface. Like the book that contained it, it is equal parts delightful and menacing. —JH


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