Page 6 - January 2017
P. 6

|  Death by Univers |                                      |  Continued  |

       binders issued to their customers. In   something had to be done to create storage
       December 1966 a list of faces destined for   space”. The ever-expanding Univers family
       destruction was sent out, perhaps to allow   even included small capitals for some text
       buyers one fi nal opportunity to purchase   sizes—an extremely unusual addition to
       mats before they were withdrawn. During   any sanserif face.
       the next twelve months the patterns and     Every Monotype design existed as
       punches were scrapped to free-up much   drawings, large metal patterns, punches
       needed storage space.                 and matrices. There were also generous
         I turned to Monotype manager, Duncan   stocks of type, used by Monotype’s in-
       Avery, at the Type Archive in Stockwell,   house printers to produce promotional
       for the reasons behind the disposal of   material for the sales department. The
       such a large proportion of Monotype   patterns alone occupied a huge amount of
       stock in 1967. “In a word”, said Duncan,   space, since an 8-10” high metal plate had
       “It was Univers”. He recalls that the   to be created for each individual character,
       unprecedented popularity of the Swiss   with the letter, number or punctuation

       designer Adrian Frutiger’s modern     mark in raised relief. The pattern outline
       sanserif, introduced by Monotype in 1961   was traced on a pantographic engraving
       (under license from Deberny & Peignot,   machine by a skilled machine operator,
       the French originator of the design) was   using a stylus linked to the cutting head,
       so great that additional space had to be   to create each punch. Each metal pattern
       created at Salfords in Surrey, home of the   could only be used for a limited range of
       Corporation. “There was just so much new   sizes, and additional patterns with much
       Univers material (the face had 21 metal   thicker hairlines had to be made for the
       variants when launched, with a total of 63   smaller point sizes, Multiple patterns
       versions by 1999) in the form of patterns,   were often needed for each letter across a
       punches, matrices and drawings that   range of sizes between 6pt and 72pt. A lot
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