DEVELOPMENT / 2013-11-01

About the Korpus Typeface

There has always been a direct connection between developing the form of a letter and the techniques available for reproducing it. Changes in possible production modes have pointed to new directions in typeface design. The development of the typeface Korpus took inspiration from the study of inaccuracies, of a general kind, in the reproduction of letters. Of particular interest were typographic deficiencies found in specimen sheets and proof copies from the early 20th century.











Collecting and investigating the first general typeface – reproductive forms and techniques.
Imprecisions in the reproduction of letters resulting from their transmission from one medium to the next, which occurred in the process of lead casting, typesetting, and subsequent printing, served as a basis for fragmented and free interpretation as well as combinatorial analysis.




Typeface sample book of working fonts from the Waldheim-Eberle AG printing concern and publishing house in Vienna in 1920. The starting-point for the ‘Korpus’ font investigation.




Each character is distorted individually as a result of
uneven pressure on every single letter and irregular paper structure.




For a serif font, ‘Korpus’ shows unusually little contrast between vertical and horizontal extent. This gives the typeface a dense grey scale. The interpretations of many typefaces are very lightfaced in their digital rendering and there is a basic tendency towards light-style body copy. This strengthened out intention to work against this trend and develop a type featuring a strong body and, thus, body copy with a good black level.





One striking feature of ‘Korpus’ is the imbalance between upstrokes and serifs. The distortion relates to the fact that the type does not lie precisely parallel with the printed sheet on the printed area.
Serifs and stroke bracket to the stem are emphasized by areas tapering diagonally.

The horizontally flattened links for the upstrokes and downstrokes for a, d, m, n, r, u are highly individual interpretations in ‘Korpus’.
The angled link simulates tapering in print.
The characters C, E, M F, G, S, T, Z are opened by the protruding end serifs.

In contrast with the emphasis on the serifs, the ball form has been omitted in the characters with a hook that rises above the upper case height or goes down under the base line. The characters remain open and emphasize the horizontal. The inner hook with a kink in the characters J, Q, a, f, j, ?, ß and £ emphasizes a form breaking away through insufficient printing pressure in reproduction.



Design by Michael Mischler & Nik Thoenen, 2009/11
Korpus Font Family
Korpus Webfont
Korpus Glyph Set


Contextualized type specimen No 1