May 03, 2003

Haag-Drugulin 1932 Type Sample Book

One of my favorite possessions is the 1932 "Anwendungsproben der schönsten Drugulin Schriften erstes heft" published by Offiziin Haag-Drugulin in Leipzig.

Apparently, the type house is still operating although it had passed into state hands (East Germany) after the war. It has been preserved as part of a Printing History Museum. In September 2000, the Association Typographique Internationale conference was hosted at the Museum. There's an interesting history of the firm at the conference site.

The Offizin Haag-Drugulin has played a significant role in publishing, printing and literary history. Its origins can be traced back to the 18th Century. 1829, when Friedrich Nies from Offenbach acquired the printing workshop, is regarded as the year of its foundation. As early as 1831, Nies had attached a type foundry to the business, which he equipped with typefaces for setting Oriental languages. Since then, the printing workshop has always been a synonym for typographic diversity and quality. At the end of the 19th Century, it was even trying to take the place of the lavishly equipped state printing works in Vienna and Paris in the field of Oriental languages.
In spite of these conditions, business did not always develop smoothly. After the First World War the interest for Oriental books waned. And people no longer had any money for lavishly designed books, once a speciality of the company. In 1928 the company merged with the Haag printing house, which had moved into the area, and it has traded as Offizin Haag-Drugulin since that time.

Each page is a magnificent example of letterpress setting. Samples of Hebrew, Arabic, and other languages as well as a range of styles and fonts from classical Fraktur to the "à la mode" Bauhaus style.

I'm scanning the book now (of course, I'm starting with my favorite pages). Anyone interested in the finished product, or even the progress, should get in touch at haag @

The large version of the cover is in the extended entry.

Posted by campbell at May 3, 2003 07:23 PM | TrackBack