Jakob Erbar

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Jakob Erbar
Born (1878-02-08)February 8, 1878
Düsseldorf, Germany
Died January 7, 1935(1935-01-07) (aged 56)
Cologne, Germany
Nationality German
Known for typography
Notable work Erbar series

Jakob Erbar (8 February 1878 – 7 January 1935) was a German professor of graphic design and a type designer. Erbar trained as a typesetter for the Dumont-Schauberg Printing Works before studying under Fritz Helmut Ehmcke and Anna Simons. Erbar went on to teach in 1908 at the Städtischen Berufsschule and from 1919 to his death at the Kölner Werkschule.[1] His seminal Erbar series was one of the first geometric sans-serif typefaces, predating both Paul Renner's Futura and Rudolf Koch's Kabel by some five years.[2]


Exemplar of some of the fonts designed by Jakob Erbar.

Foundry types produced by Jakob Erbar:[3]

  • Feder Grotesk (1910, Ludwig & Mayer Typefoundry) - a "stressed" sans-serif, with some strokes very visibly thicker than others, suggesting Art-Nouveau style lettering or writing with a broad-nibbed pen. Feder means "feather" in German[4]
  • Erbar series (1922–30, Ludwig & Mayer Typefoundry) - a large sans-serif font family; many weights and styles released.
    • Erbar-Grotesk, made in four weights with italic and condensed.
    • Lumina, an open face version.
    • Lux, a version with contrasting outlines.
    • Phospohor, a bold, in-line version.
    • Lucina, a set of white-on-black capitals.
  • Koloss (1923, Ludwig & Mayer Typefoundry) - an ultra-bold design similar to Feder-Grotesk[4]
  • Candida (1936, Ludwig & Mayer Typefoundry) - a decorative geometric serif typeface

External links[edit]


  • Friedl, Ott, and Stein, Typography: an Encyclopedic Survey of Type Design and Techniques Throughout History. Black Dog & Levinthal Publishers: 1998. ISBN 1-57912-023-7.
  • Jaspert, W. Pincus, W. Turner Berry and A.F. Johnson. The Encyclopedia of Type Faces. Blandford Press Lts.: 1953, 1983. ISBN 0-7137-1347-X.
  1. ^ Friedl, Ott, and Stein, p. 210.
  2. ^ Macmillsn, Niel.An A-Z of Type Designers. Yale University Press, 2006 (pg. 78)
  3. ^ Jaspert, W. Pincus, W. Turner Berry and A.F. Johnson. The Encyclopedia of Type Faces. Blandford Press Lts.: 1953, 1983, ISBN 0-7137-1347-X, p. 2408-249
  4. ^ a b Schneider, Kirsten Solveig; Hardwig, Florian. "Typographische Mitteilungen, volume 17, issue 7, July 1920". Fonts in Use. Retrieved 24 June 2016.