A brief timeline of Swedish type founding
A non-exhaustive list detailing the main actors and events of typographical design and production in Sweden from the earliest examples until present day.
Johan Snell (?–1519)
• The first printer to arrive in Sweden, where he worked from 1483–86.
• He had equipment for type founding, and supplemented the types he brought from Germany with new sorts when needed.
Georg Richolff (1494–1573)
• Worked as a printer in Sweden from 1525–29, followed by a second period from 1539–41. His first period coincides with the founding of Sweden as a nation.
• Printed the first typographic Å in Een nyttwgh wnderwijsning om menniskones fall (1526). Sources show that he had the necessary equipment to supplement his typefaces.
Andreas Gutterwitz (?–1610)
• Worked as a printer in Sweden from 1582 until his death in 1610.
• Like Snell and Richolff, he practiced type founding.
Johannes Bureus (1568–1652)
• Design a Runic alphabet with Latin-inspired serifs in 1611 for his book Runa ABC.
Peter von Selow (?–1649)
• Worked in Sweden from 1618–49
• Von Selow was of Dutch origin. Migrated from Breslau, Germany. He was the only punchcutter in Sweden in the period, and delivered “material” to the other printers.
Ignatius Meurer (1586–1672)
• Worked as a printer from 1609–72
• Printed the first newspaper in 1645, the Ordinarie Post Tijdender and published the first book typeset in an antiqua typeface: Stadslagen in 1628. The book was printed in Paris by an unnamed printer.
Henrik Keyser I (?–1663)
• Punchcutter active from 1633 to his death in 1663. In 1650, he issued Sweden’s first book with copper engravings. His widow minded the business until his son Henrik Keyser II was old enough to take over in 1670.
Henrik Keyser II (1652–99)
• Practiced from 1670–99
• Imported a series of typefaces from Holland in 1689. These are listed in the first swedish type specimen, published in 1691, titled Någre få prooff hos Henrick Keiser. Kongl. Maytz: och Upsal. Acad. Booktryckiare.
Lars Salvius (1706–73)
• Swedish book printer, active until his death in 1773
• According to historian Christian Axel-Nilsson, Cicero Mager Fraktur №1 (early 18th century) is from his hand.
Peter Momma (1711–72)
• Worked as a printer years 1738–50, and started the first Swedish type foundry.
• Momma had exclusive rights for type founding in the period 1738–50. During this period, by royal decree in 1743, it was no longer allowed to import types from abroad.
Henrik Fougts (1720–82)
• Fougts married Momma’s daugther Emma, and later bought the print shop from his son after it went bankrupt.
• Fougts was active from 1775 until 1782.
• In 1766 he presented three designs of his own making to challenge the imported typefaces of competing printers. It has been revealed later, however, that these were copies of Fournier’s types.
• He patented a method for printing musical notes (an imitation of J.G.I. Breitkopf’s method) with lead type in 1767, and moved to London to print musical sheets. His stay in London was not without problems.
• Returned to Sweden in 1770 with 70 punches of Isaac Moore’s Baskerville types, bought from a ‘T Richards’ in London.
Anders J Nordström (1742–1821)
• Printer and type founder, active from 1769–1802
• Launched his type foundry in 1787 and published a type specimen containing many of the same types from Isaac Moore that Fougts imported.
• Cast Arabic, Hebrew and Greek type.
Johan Pehr Lindh (1757–1820)
• Type founder, active from 1816–20
Norstedt Tryckeri (1823–)
• The printing house was founded 1823, with equipment bought from Lindh. Its types were probably manufactured in Germany before 1750, but may have been adapted for Swedish use inhouse.
Svenska Slöjdföreningen’s competition for producing a Swedish typeface (1916)
• Winners of the 1916 competition were Bertha Svensson, Torsten Schonberg and Eigil Schwab, but no typefaces were ever produced from the sketches.
Hugo Lagerström (1873–1956)
• Mediaeval antikva produced by Genzsch & Heyse in 1924. Very unlikely that Lagerström designed the typeface himself, but he might have initiated it (?). Seems strongly related to the later Nordisk antikva.
Akke Kumlien (1884–1949)
• Kumlien medieval, developed 1943–48
Karl-Erik Forsberg (1914–95)
• Calligrapher, graphic designer, painter &c.
• Designer of many typefaces and logotypes. His work includes Berling antikva (1940–51), Parad (1936–41), Lunda (1938–42), Ericus (undated) and Carolus (1953–54)
Olle Eksell (1918–2007)
• Prolific graphic designer. An untitled alphabet dated 1962 was later digitized by Letters from Sweden as Eksell Display.
Elsie Svennas (1921–96)
• Though not strictly typographic, Elsie Svennas’ A Handbook of Lettering for Stitchers (1966) contain grid based alphabets implying letter fit.
Bo Berndal (1924–2013)
• Typographer, graphic designer. Produced over 300 typefaces including, but not limited to, Vadstenakursive (1989), Bosis (1991), the self-titled Berndal (2002), Cartesius (2006), Mixtra Roman and Sansserif (2006) and Sergel (2007)
For the digital era, I’ve only listed the most notable actors. For a better overview, please refer to Luc Devroye.
Peter Bruhn (1969–2014)
• The Fountain foundry operated from 1993–2014, when its founder, Peter Bruhn, passed away. (Ed.: Is Fountain still active?)
• Other Swedish type designers published include: Lotta Bruhn, Lars Bergquist, Stefan Hattenbach, Martin Lexelius and Göran Söderström. The Satura typeface is particularly interesting, and was featured on a Swedish postage stamp alongside Berling antikva and Bosis.
Stefan Hattenbach (1961–)
• The MAC Rhino foundry was launched in 1997, and is still active.
• Hattenbach designed Sweden Sans in 2014, a national typeface for Sweden.
The Swedish Modern Set by Paul Shaw
• A series of digital fonts inspired by Swedish and Scandinavian calligraphy.
• Includes Stockholm, Göteborg and Uppsala (1998).
Carolina Laudon (1971–)
• Type designer, letterer and typographer based in Gothenburg.
• Founded custom type design studio Laudon Design AB in 2000, designing type for commercial clients including, but not limited to, Monopol for Systembolaget, Klarna Pris for Klarna AB and Unga Klara for the independent Stockholm theatre Unga Klara.
• Designed DN Bodoni and DN Grotesk together with art director Örjan Nordling for Swedish tabloid Dagens Nyheter. The latter expanded to FF Dagny by Göran Söderström for FontFont. Sadly, the FF credits does not mention Carolina.
Göran Söderström (1974–)
• His Letters from Sweden is a Stockholm-based type foundry.
• Other Swedish type designers published include Erik Moberg.
• Launched in 2011 and still active.