About this font family
The Bauer Typefoundry first released the Beton family of types in 1936. Created by the German type designer Heinrich Jost, the present digital version of the Beton family consists of six slab serif typefaces.
First developed during the early 1800s, by the 1930s slab serif faces had become one of many stock styles of type developed by foundries all over the world. Because of their distance from pen-drawn forms and their industrial appearance, they were seen as “modern” typefaces. (Their serifs kept them from being too modern.) More…
The first slab serif typefaces were outgrowths of didone style text faces (e.g., Walbaum). As newspapers and advertising grew in importance in the western world (especially in “Wild West” America), type founders and printers began to create bigger, bolder typefaces, which would set large headlines apart from text, and each other. Through display tactics, businesses and industry could begin to visually differentiate their products from one another. This craze eventually led to the development of monster sized wood type, among other things.
By the 20th Century, the typographic establishment had begun to tame, categorize, and codify 19th Century type styles. It was in the wake of this environment that Jost developed Beton.
The Beton family is a type “family” in a pre-1950s sense of the word. Although six styles of type are available, only four of them fit in logical progression with each other (Beton Light, Beton Demi Bold, Beton Bold, and Beton Extra Bold). The other two members of the family, Beton Bold Condensed and Beton Bold Compressed, are more like distant cousins. They function better as single headlines to text set in Beton Light or Beton Demi Bold, of as companions to totally separate typefaces.