For decades, the DIN
typeface was considered to be a fatherless creation, the product of a government authority. But research by Albert-Jan Pool, designer of the FF DIN
, has shown that from 1925, the Siemens engineer Ludwig Goller
(1884–1964) was responsible, as chairman of the DIN committee for design, for the development of the typeface DIN 1451. Following his publication Normschriften
(“Standard Typefaces”) in 1936, it became the prescribed typeface for German street and house-number signage. Siemens began using it in its company logo that same year.
In 1926, the idea of constructing a typeface was not new. Poster artists, shop-window designers and sign writers had been doing it for generations. In the Dessau period of the Bauhaus
(1925 to 1931), the construction of sans-serif typefaces with geometrical elements was a regular feature in Joost Schmidt’s classes.
The ancestors of FF DIN
When Albert-Jan Pool was designing FF DIN in 1995, he took into consideration typographical rules concerning readability. Horizontal strokes are thinner than vertical ones, and the transitions between circles and straight lines are harmonised. Evert Bloemsma attributed the success of FF DIN, which is among the five bestselling FontFonts, to the following formula: 80% hi-tech, 10% imperfection (which equates with charm) and 10% static.
DIN made the headlines in December 2006 in connection with a new design for the logo of the German Green Party. The logo was rejected by the party conference.
The German motorway typeface, on the cover of the Czech design magazine