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The font DIN typeface family is inspired by the classic industrial German engineering designs, DIN 1451 Engschrift and DIN 1451 Mittelschrift. This font comes since 1995 from two different foundries. While Linotype has the original designs Fontshop made their interpretation with the aid of Albert-Jan Pool under the name FF DIN. FF DIN became quite popular because it had a few more widths and was optimized for graphic design.

Linotype on the other hand just launched their new DIN interpretation called DIN Next under the direction of Akira Kobayashi. In this new interpretation you find 25 fonts and 7 weights. An impressive re-work with many additional features. Find out more on the official website of Linotype.

While this are good news in the tradition of this series I’ve looked around the foundries to find some other alternatives and found some interesting ones. So enjoy.

din_versions

DIN

from Linotype (www.linotype.com)

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5 Comments

Albert-Jan Pool
September 24, 2010

Being the designer of FF DIN, I would like to comment here that the sentence “While Linotype has the original designs” does not quite reflect reality. The drawings for DIN 1451 were done on request of a DIN comittee on letterforms, they were drawn by german engineers between 1926 and 1933. The comittee was led by a Siemens engineer named Ludwig Goller, it is likely that he did the drawings by himself. According to my research, the type industry of those days has not been involved with this design by any means.
The drawings for the version of DIN 1451 that have been digitized by Linotype in the early eighties for their CRT-driven phototypesetters have been made by a lettering draughtsman called A. Gropp, roughly around 1978 and 1980. He had been asked to do so by the companies that do the road signs in Germany. The digitization of those drawings have been done at the Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen (a division of the German Ministry of Traffic) around 1980, using a mainframe computer and lines-and-arcs curve description. This was way before PostScript Type1 fonts came in.
Most current digital versions base on this 1980 version, they are not only available from Linotype, but also from URW++ (www.urw.de) and Elsner + Flake (www.elsner-flake.com).

Best regards, Albert-Jan pool

    derfrankie
    September 24, 2010

    Thanks for the insights. I will correct the phrasing. As I studied electronic engineering I recognized DIN as the contractor but it seemed that linotype was the copyright holder for this specific specimen.

Narjas
February 15, 2011

Hi Frank,

I’d like to use Konsens on a branding project, but there are worries that it won’t read well on the web and probably isn’t websafe. Can you enlighten me on this aspect? I’m wondering whether there’s a good ‘substitutes’ website that shows the web-equivalent preferred font for all fonts we designers would ideally like to use!…

Thanks,
Narjas

    Frank Neulichedl
    February 17, 2011

    If you want to use a font like Konses for copy text on a website you have to get sure that the spacing and the size is correct. Generally the readability should not be a problem but be sure that copy is not too long.

    The aspect about being web-safe is more an aspect of what browser the audience of your client uses. Webfonts are a huge “problem” and the solutions what are spreading now are good attemps but are not supported by all browsers. If you can design for newer designers than the websafenes is not an issue.

Web Design Aberdeen
August 11, 2011

I find it really hard to find fonts that are of use. being someone who doesn’t specialise in typography its tough. These kind of blog posts really help though, thanks!

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