Schelter & Giesecke Type Foundry

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J.G. Schelter & Giesecke
IndustryType foundry
FounderJohann Schelter, Christian Giesecke
HeadquartersLeipzig, Germany
Key people
Georg Belwe

J.G. Schelter & Giesecke was a German type foundry and manufacturer of printing presses started 1819 in Leipzig by punchcutter Johann Schelter and typefounder Christian Giesecke. The foundry was nationalized in 1946 by the new German Democratic Republic, forming Typoart, Dresden.[1]


These foundry types were produced by Schelter & Giesecke:[2]

A poster for the International Bartenders Association competition of 1965 in Breite halbfette Grotesk.

Schelter & Giesecke's Breite halbfette Grotesk (wide, semibold sans-serif) was popular in trade and advertising printing in the mid-twentieth century, and was used by both Bauhaus-movement printers and Swiss-style designers of the mid-century.[3][4] Christian Schwartz's FF Bau is a loose digitisation.[5][6]

The foundry claimed by the twentieth century to have been one of the first to offer general-purpose sans-serif typefaces with lower-case, as early as 1825.[7][8] This was repeated by some authors, but is now known to be untrue: Wolfgang Homola dates it to 1882 based on a study of Schelter & Giesecke specimens.[9][a]

Press Manufacturing[edit]

Beginning in 1827 Schelter & Giesecke manufactured letterpress presses, cylinder proof presses and platen presses; and after World War I also of web-fed, letterpress and flexo printing presses.

The Leipzig house of foundry co-owner Georg Giesecke, designed by Berlin architect Max Hasak, survives and is listed.[12]


  1. ^ "Schelter & Giesecke". MyFonts. 2011-11-22. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Kupferschmid, Indra. "True Type of the Bauhaus". Fonts in Use. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  4. ^ Coles, Stephen. "Guaiacalcium ad". Fonts in Use. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  5. ^ Schwartz, Christian. "FF Bau". Schwartzco. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  6. ^ Paul Shaw (April 2017). Revival Type: Digital Typefaces Inspired by the Past. Yale University Press. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-300-21929-6.
  7. ^ Lawson, Alexander S., Anatomy of a Typeface, David R. Godine, Publisher, Boston, Massachusetts, 1990, ISBN 0-87923-333-8, p. 296.
  8. ^ Handbuch der Schriftarten. Leipzig: Seeman. 1926.
  9. ^ Homola, Wolfgang. "Type design in the age of the machine. The 'Breite Grotesk' by J. G. Schelter & Giesecke" (PDF). University of Reading (archived). Archived from the original on 12 January 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2018.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  10. ^ Mosley, James. "Comments on Typophile thread - "Unborn: sans serif lower case in the 19th century"". Typophile (archived). Archived from the original on 28 June 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  11. ^ Tracy, Walter. Letters of Credit. p. 86.
  12. ^ Sabine Knopf (2011). Buchstadt Leipzig: der historische Reiseführer. Ch. Links Verlag. pp. 80–81. ISBN 978-3-86153-634-5.
  1. ^ Walter Tracy also comments that the claimed date is "forty years too early" and James Mosley describes it as "thoroughly discredited".[10][11]