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Karnak (typeface)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Karnak Medium in metal type
Karnak Medium in metal type

Karnak is a slab-serif typeface designed by R. Hunter Middleton for the Ludlow Typograph company and issued in the period 1931–1942.[1][2]

Karnak is a "geometric" slab serif, reflecting the style of German geometric sans-serifs (in particular Futura) which had attracted considerable attention in the United States and adapting the design to the slab serif structure. It copies the German geometric slab-serif Memphis.[3][4] Middleton also designed a loose copy of Futura, the sans-serif Tempo, around the same time.[2] It and other similar designs were popular in American printing during the hot metal typesetting period.

Like Memphis, Karnak's name, after the Karnak Temple Complex in Egypt, references the fact that early slab serifs were often called "Egyptians" as an exoticism by nineteenth-century typefounders.[5][a]

Karnak was an influence on the design of the popular 2009 slab serif Neutraface Slab.[8][9] It is an adaptation of the sans-serif Neutraface designed by Christian Schwartz, influenced by Middleton's Tempo.[10][11][12] Archer is another well-known modern geometric slab serif in this style with a less strictly geometric design.[13][14]


  1. ^ Although, confusingly, the term was first used to refer to sans-serifs, and the earliest slab-serifs were often called "Antiques".[6][7]


  1. ^ Allan Haley (15 September 1992). Typographic Milestones. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 117–120. ISBN 978-0-471-28894-7.
  2. ^ a b Neil Macmillan (2006). An A-Z of Type Designers. Yale University Press. p. 135. ISBN 0-300-11151-7.
  3. ^ Devroye, Luc. "R. Hunter Middleton". Type Design Information. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  4. ^ Tam, Keith. "The revival of slab-serif typefaces in the 20th century" (PDF). University of Reading (MA thesis). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 October 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  5. ^ Frere-Jones, Tobias. "Scrambled Eggs & Serifs". Frere-Jones Type. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  6. ^ James Mosley, The Nymph and the Grot: the revival of the sanserif letter, London: Friends of the St Bride Printing Library, 1999
  7. ^ Mosley, James (January 6, 2007), The Nymph and the Grot, an update, archived from the original on June 10, 2014, retrieved June 10, 2014
  8. ^ Schwartz, Christian. "Neutraface Slab". Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  9. ^ "Neutraface Slab". House Industries. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  10. ^ Schwartz, Christian. "Neutraface". Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  11. ^ Berry, John D. (2006). Dot-font: Talking About Fonts (1st ed.). New York: Mark Batty Publisher. pp. 117–121. ISBN 0-9772827-0-8.
  12. ^ "The Neutra Legacy". House Industries. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  13. ^ "Sentinel: historical background". Hoefler & Frere-Jones. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  14. ^ Challand, Skylar. "Know your type: Clarendon". IDSGN. Retrieved 13 August 2015.

External links

This page was last edited on 6 November 2020, at 09:27
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