In the late 19th century there was an artistic Renaissance in southern Germany, led by the artists and designers of the Jugendstil movement in the area around Munich. While Jugendstil artists like Arnold Bocklin are often thrown in with the French Art Nouveau artists of the same period, their art was stylistically original and focused on Germanic themes and mythology. While it overlapped with the French Art Nouveau period, its emphasis on design beyond just graphic arts made it more akin to the Art Nouveau or Arts and Crafts period in England.
The driving force of the Jugendstil movement was the magazine Munchner Jugend which made extensive use of the illustrations and designs of German Art Nouveau artists, including black and white and tinted illustrations, hand lettering and even architectural and furniture design in many ways similar to the traditions of the Arts and Crafts movement. Among the notable figures involved with the magazine were architect and designer Peter Behrens who is often associated with the later Bauhaus movement, and the painters Otto Eckman, Gustav Klimt and Arnold Boecklin.
The style of art featured in the magazine was a radical departure from traditional German decorative arts and graphic design which had remained much stodgier and formulaic than had been common in France or England for several generations. But once freed of the constraints of tradition, the Jugendstil artists became particularly wild and creative in their style and the themes they addressed in their work.
One of the things which characterized Munchner Jugend was the extensive use of original hand lettering and unique type design in their covers, titles and advertising content. Each issue is full of good ideas for font designs, and though the issues are hard to come by, we’ve developed a number of Jugendstil fonts from designs in the magazine. These include the Jugend and Campobello sets of decorative initials as well as the Phaeton and Munich title fonts.
Munchner Jugend was also extensively and lavishly illustrated for the most part in black and white with some full-page two or three color prints as well. Artists includes some of those already mentioned, but art nouveau artists from all over Europe including a number of those associated with the English Art Nouveau movement and The Studio magazine. The magazine was famous for its decorative borders and humorous vignettes.
Our Jugendstil collection was recently updated, with the addition of both new fonts and art. The original package was released quite a while ago and since that time we have released other fonts based on Jugendstil designs, but the package was never updated with the new fonts. Now the package has been brought up to date with the addition of the Wolfram, Kunsthand and Zauberer fonts, which represent very different aspects of the design movement. Wolfram is a heavy-weight display font, Kunsthand is a classic example of artist’s lettering and Zauberer is an Art Nouveau twist on classic German gothic lettering. These are in addition to a great selection of art and decorative elements from the magazine, plus the four fonts which were originally in the package, Jugend, Munich, Phaeton and Campobello.
The Scriptorium’s Jugendstil Collection represents a range of material from Munchner Jugend including both unique original fonts and a nice selection of the best art from its heyday in the late 1890s. It is available from our ONLINE STORE for just $59.