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Walbaum (typeface)

Walbaum's roman and Fraktur type, in modern digitisations

Walbaum is the name given to serif typefaces in the "Didone" or modern style that are, or revive the work of early nineteenth-century punchcutter Justus Erich Walbaum (1768 – 1837), based in Goslar and then in Weimar.[1][2][3][4]

Walbaum-style typefaces are "rational" in design, with minimal serifs and strong contrast between thin horizontal and thick vertical strokes, following the work of typefounders such as Firmin Didot and Giambattista Bodoni.[5][6][7] They are often used in publishing and remain very popular in Germany. Walbaum also designed fraktur blackletter typefaces, which (while not stylistically related) similarly have a structured and precise design.[8][9] Walbaum sold the materials of his foundry to Brockhaus, who in turn sold them to the Berthold Type Foundry.

In the twentieth century, Walbaum's type regained popularity through its sale by Berthold and copies were made by several companies. Digital revivals exist from František Štorm (in a release with optical sizes), Monotype (a 1933 version created for its hot metal typesetting system, and a separate digital version released in 2018), Berthold, Linotype and others.[10][11][12][13]


  1. ^ Neil Macmillan (2006). An A-Z of Type Designers. Yale University Press. p. 180. ISBN 0-300-11151-7.
  2. ^ Christina Killius (1999). Die Antiqua-Fraktur Debatte um 1800 und ihre historische Herleitung. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. pp. 274–281. ISBN 978-3-447-03614-6.
  3. ^ Alexander Waldow (1884). Illustrierte Encyklopädie der graphischen Künste und der verwandten Zweige. A. Waldow. p. 839.
  4. ^ Paul Shaw (2017). Revival Type: Digital Typefaces Inspired by the Past. Yale University Press. pp. 116–7. ISBN 978-0-300-21929-6.
  5. ^ Shaw, Paul. "Flawed Typefaces". Print magazine. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  6. ^ Bruchmann, Karl G (1959). "Walbaum's early years in Goslar and Weimar". Monotype Recorder. 41 (4): 6–11.
  7. ^ "The Modern roman in Germany". Bulletin of the Printing Historical Society (17): 219–220. 1986.
  8. ^ Yannis Haralambous; P. Scott Horne (28 November 2007). Fonts & Encodings. "O'Reilly Media, Inc.". pp. 393–5. ISBN 978-0-596-10242-5.
  9. ^ Julien Chazal (1 September 2013). Calligraphy: A Complete Guide. Stackpole Books. pp. 102–5. ISBN 978-0-8117-1294-1.
  10. ^ "Walbaum 2010 Pro™ - Webfont & Desktop font « MyFonts".
  11. ^ "Berthold Walbaum® Book BQ - Desktop font « MyFonts".
  12. ^ "Walbaum™ - Webfont & Desktop font « MyFonts".
  13. ^ Nix, Charles; Crossgrove, Carl; Villanueva, Juan. "Walbaum MT (2018)". MyFonts. Monotype Imaging. Retrieved 21 June 2018.

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