In February 2016, Dan Reynolds and I travelled to Braunschweig University, where Dan was a visiting professor at the time, working on his doctoral thesis. Our mission was to print some samples of a metal font I’d bought on a whim some years ago, Alarm 72pt from Trennert typefoundry in Hamburg (1928). The typeface by designer is a close relative of Berthold’s wonderful and wacky 1927 Fanfare by Louis Oppenheim — so: a clear me-too product, but with a character all its own.
The person taking care of the printing workshop that is part of the University’s Visual Communications Department (I highly recommend them for teaching students about design in the digital age) is a retired typesetter and printer, Ulrich Lindner. He did most of the work, though Dan did good typesetting, and was his industrious assistant.
We hoped to first print the lowercase and uppercase alphabets, and then move on to more creative work, like crazy slogans. However, the font is partly so worn down that it had to be amended in subtle ways, like putting little pieces of paper under single characters. So, that day we didn’t do more than two pages, though the second one was in two glorious colours.
My camera was a compact Lumix.
The video is the first one done under the Fust & Friends label. That basically me, but trying to involve people from the wonderful Berlin type scene, and beyond, in things I wouldn’t accomplish alone. Johann Fust was the man who bankrolled the invention of printing, than became very business-like about Gutenberg’s debts and confiscated his workshop and his main assistant, Peter Schoeffer.
Jan Middendorp ••• Concept, camera, editing
Dan Reynolds ••• Typesetting, logistics
Ulrich Lindner ••• Printing
Erica Rendall ••• Music (The Camel House)
Heinz König (1856 –1937) ••• Type design