Kabel: Baillie

Kabel was influenced a lot by the Bauhaus movement and is very geometric. I want to include that aesthetic in my infographic design by using simple shapes and keeping to the primary colors. The infograhic will be in the form of a poster.


  • Kabel was designed in 1927 by Rudolf Koch for the Klingspor Foundry in Germany.
  • Today the typeface is licensed by the Elsner + Flake GbR Foundry
  • It is a geometric sans-serif typeface: at the time many type foundries in Europe were developing new sans serif typefaces, which created a challenge to create new faces without duplicated their own work or work of other foundries.
  • Named to honor the newly completed trans-atlantic telephone cable OR named as a pun referring to both the “monolinear construction of the face and the role of type as a means of communication.”
  • Influenced directly by Bauhaus movement
  • Influenced by two earlier geometric sans-serif typefaces: Feder Schrift (1919) and Erbar (1922). It is also considered a sans serif version of Koch’s earlier typeface Koch Antiqua (1922) – the lowercase ‘g’s are particularly similar.
  • Influenced by Koch’s calligraphy background: bowls are nearly perfectly geometric but fanciful lowercase ‘g’, angular stroke ends, and splayed W make Kabel less formal than contemporaries like Futura.
  • Stroke weights are more varied than most geometric sans-serifs. The terminus of vertical strokes are cut to a near eight-degree angle, making them look like they are not sitting on the baseline and ultimately animated.
  • Uppercase characters are broad and show influence of roman capitals: capital W is splayed and G has no terminal. Lowercases characters: a, e, and g exhibit a link with Carolingian script.
  • When Klingspor Foundry closed in late 1950’s, the foundry D. Stempel Ag in Frankfurt, which owned Klingspor found for more than a decade assumed the rights to the designs.
  • Victor Caruso designed a version of Kabel for ITC in 1975 under the license from D. Stempel AG, named ITC Kabel, which is not faithful to the original design. Similar to ITC Garamond, ITC Kabel has an excessively large x-height, created to please New York advertising tastes of the day.
  • Famous Uses:
    • Title font for the Beatles 1960s animated classic, Yellow Submarine.
    • Credits of Sofia Coppola’s 2003 film, Lost in Translation.
    • Ending Credits for 90’s TV series, Saved by the Bell.
    • Used for Monopoly’s logo.
    • Grocery store Piggly Wiggly’s logo.
    • L’eggs logo uses slightly modified version: but one of most successful logos in modern marketing

Rudolf Koch:

  • November 20, 1876 (Nürnberg)– April 9, 1934 (Offenbach)
  • German Calligrapher, Type Designer, Teacher
  • 1906: joined Klingspor type foundry (Offenbach)
  • 1892-1896: trained as engraver in Hanau
  • 1896-1897: trains as art teacher at Kunstgewerbeschule in Nuremberg and at the Technische hochschule in Munich
  • first typefaced designed: Maximilian
  • served in the war as an infantryman
  • designed about 30 typefaces for Klingspor (best known: Neuland – 1923 and Kabel – 1927)
  • After war, Koch and students formed workshop community that would train Fritz Kredel, Berthold Wolpe, Herbert Post, and Warren Chappell.
  • 1930: awarded honorary doctorate by the faculty of Evangelical Theology at the university of Munich.
  • Concerned typefounding’s hisorty would become lose with the development of hot metal typesetting. He created many well-known illustrations of traditional punchcutting. He also produced a large volume of detailed, traditional German Calligraphy. He also produced a book on calligraphic instruction.
  • Also very experimental: Wallau and Neuland
  • Influenced later in life by Bauhaus

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