Old bank notes tend to have a very typical typography. Usually they carry decorative and elaborately designed markings. For one thing, they must be practically impossible to forge and for another, they should make a respectable and legitimate impression. And in the days of copper and steel engravings, that meant nothing less than creating ornate, shaded or otherwise complicated scripts. Designing the appropriate script was literally in the hands of the engraver.
That’s why I noticed this bank note from 1948. It is the first 20 mark bill in the then newly created currency ”Deutsche Mark.“ All other bank notes of the 1948 series show daintier forms of typography with an obvious tendency toward modern face. The 1949 series which followed shortly thereafter reveals the more complicated script as well. For whatever reason, only this 20 mark bill displays this extremely expanded sans serif variation of the otherwise Roman form applied. This peculiarity led me in the year 2010 to create a complete font from the single word ”Banknote.“
Back to those days in the 40’s, the initial edition of DM bank notes was carried out by a special US-American printer who was under pressure of completing on time and whose engravers not only engraved but also designed. So that’s why the bank notes resemble dollars and don’t even look like European currency. That also explains some of the uniquely designed characters when looked at in detail. Especially the almost serif type form on the letters C, G, S and Z, but also L and T owe their look to the ”American touch.“
The ingoFont Banknote 1948 comprises all characters of the Latin typeface according to ISO 8859 for all European languages including Turkish and Baltic languages.
In order to maintain the character of the original, the ”creation“ of lower case letters was waived. This factor doesn’t contribute to legibility, but this kind of type is not intended for long texts anyway; rather, it unfolds its entire attraction when used as a display font, for example on posters.
Banknote 1948 is also very suitable for distortion and other alien techniques, without too much harm being done to the characteristic forms.
With Banknote 1948 ingoFonts discloses a font like scripts which were used in advertising of the 1940’s and 50’s and were popular around the world. But even today the use of this kind of font can be expedient, especially considering how Banknote 1948, for its time of origin, impresses with amazingly modern detail.
character set: A—Z resp. a—z only
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