Reinventing a quirky 1920s stencil face – Iwan Stencil
™ is a new revival of an old display typeface. Based on type originally designed by Jan Tschichold
in 1929, the style was revived by Klaus Sutter in 2008. The letterforms in this peculiar design are very high contrast; all of the thin bits are much thinner than the thick parts. They have a modern, upright axis. All in all, the creation has a bit of a Bodoni-gone-crazy touch.
The thin elements are the unique part of the design that binds this face together. They almost naturally fade away in the stencil gaps (or pylons), making you wonder if you are really looking at a stencil face at all. These thins contribute greatly to the typeface’s overall serif-style, making the design at least a semi serif typeface, if not a full serif one. The lowercase n, for instance, has no serifs of its own, but many of the other letters have clear ones, or serif-like terminals. A serif stencil face is a peculiar variety, especially in this day and age, but in the past they were much more common, if not the norm.
The Iwan Stencil typeface has only one weight. Naturally, this is just for display. Use Iwan Stencil to cut real stencils, or only to create the effect of stenciled type in your design work. Iwan Stencil includes all of the characters that you have come to expect in a font. Just because this design was originally made in 1929 does not mean that is has a 1929 character set. Instead, it includes a 21st century, with extended European language support.
Jan Tschichold, who we have to thank for today’s Iwan Stencil inspiration, was a man of many faces
A trained calligrapher who went on to codify the New Typography, would go on to become a teacher, a classical book designer, and the creator of the Sabon®
typeface. Like all young designers, he was occasionally in need of money. Before his emigration from Germany in 1933, he took on many kinds of commissions. In the late 1920s, a time full of waves of economic turmoil within Germany and across the world, he began designing a typefaces for different European companies, mostly display things like this.
For a time during the mid-1920s, Jan Tschichold went by the name “Iwan” (the German spelling of “Ivan”).