Released by Berthold AG
in 1984, it was Bernd Möllenstädt’s
first typeface after 17 years as a senior member of staff in the type studio of the Berlin typesetting equipment manufacturer. And it was an immediate success. What made the sans-serif Formata
special was its “non-linear strokes”: instead, the contours of the characters had a tension that made them particularly reader-friendly. The curves enhanced readability in text font, and in headlines gave Formata a distinctive character. The Bold Condensed was particularly eye-catching.
Formata is the corporate font of the Allianz Group, shown here on the 2005 annual report (Image: Allianz)
Möllenstädt joined Berthold in 1967 and ran the type design studio with Günter Gerhard Lange
(GGL). When GGL resigned in 1990, the Westphalian took on sole responsibility for type design and digitisation. In 1994, he released an alternative to Formata, Signata
, but this did not achieve the same success.
Since 1998, Möllenstädt has worked as a freelance type designer and teaches typography and type design at colleges in Munich.