Very carefully, Hans Eduard Meier
laid a transparency sheet on the layout table: the final draft of his Syntax typeface. Every character, every figure, every punctuation mark was drawn with an ink brush and pen … and then adjusted with a razor blade until its form was exactly as the typographer intended it. Meier had spent exactly 14 years
working on the first ever “sans-serif Roman”, from 1954 to 1968.
Syntax combines the clarity of sans-serif typefaces with the warmth and readability of Renaissance Romans. Indeed, Meier’s capitals were derived from very early (2nd century BCE) Roman lapidary lettering, which had no serifs and very little contrast.
The groundbreaking typeface was released by D. Stempel for manual typesetting in mid-1968, under the name “Syntax Antiqua”
. Jan Tschichold was full of praise: “... excellent, extremely legible, well formed: better than its relative Gill Sans.”
Even in the digital age, Hans Ed Meier remained in control. From design to hinting, the re-release and expansion of his successful typeface as a Linotype font in 2000 was carried out entirely at the 78-year-old’s own computer.
The most comprehensive version of Syntax is the Linotype Syntax released in 2000