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Famous for:
The first 20th century revival of the slab serif typestyle.

Applications: Advertising and Display

Ubiquity:
Not widely used

Category:
Slab Serif

Stress: Vertical
Serifs: Slab

Date: 1929

Designer:
Rudolf Wolf

Foundry:
Stempel / Linotype

Location:
Germany

Current equivalent:
Linotype Memphis

See also:
Ludlow Karnak, Intertype Cairo, ATF Stymie, MT Rockwell, Scarab, Beton

Technologies:
Metal (foundry)
Metal (machine)
Photosetting
Postscript

Design history:
This typeface uses the rounded geometry of contemporary faces such as Futura and Kabel as its base. As with Futura, and Johnston's Railway Sans, the only thinning of the stroke width in this face is provided to maintain an optically monoline appearance. These new slab serifed types harmonized with the aesthetics of the machine age and the new typography – a wave of fashionable slab serifs were created by almost all the foundries in the 1930s and were a success with the advertising of the time. Memphis was released in four weights with italics, a bold condensed, an 'open' or outline display face, and a three-dimensional shadow variant called Luna.

profile 49

picture: Princeton Arch Press