National typeface in Poland between the wars: drawing typographic boundaries

Agata Szydlowska


In 1918 when Poland recouped its independence, creation of national styles in art and design started to be an important political issue for a newly created nation state. Special consideration was given to inventing a national typeface. After numerous discussions between designers, artists, publishers, and typographers, a complete “Polish typeface” was proposed by Adam Półtawski who decided to elaborate it based on a specificity of Polish language. Comparing the ways in which typefaces are given national meanings with other cases from Western Europe (Blackletter in Germany and Gaelic typefaces in Ireland), the article discusses the ways in which creation of the national typeface from scratch helps to integrate a national community while at the same time excluding different ethnic groups


type design; national identity;Poland;roman typeface

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