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H. Berthold AG

Major typefoundry founded in 1858 by Hermann Berthold in Berlin as an institute for electrotype.

In 1878, Berthold established a new standard system for typographical measurement where 1 point was 0.376065 mm. In 1893 Berthold opened dependencies in Stuttgart and St. Petersburg, and in 1918 opened new branches in Leipzig, Riga, Budapest and Vienna, becoming the largest typefoundry in the world. The company manufactured photocomposition machines from 1958, when the Diatype machine was introduced. In 1967, H. Berthold AG introduced the Diatronic, its first keyboard-controlled phototypesetting machine.

The growth of H. Berthold AG’s large and distinguished library of original typefaces of uniform excellence has been directed by Günter Gerhard Lange. He started working at the company in 1950, and was art director from 1961 to 1990. Lange supervised the production of the Berthold typeface library, that consisted of a series of exclusive designs as well as typefaces licensed from other foundries – comprising a total of more than 2000 typefaces.

In the late 1970s and 1980s, H. Berthold AG began converting its library into digital format and eventually produced its own digital versions of their entire library using the Ikarus system. In March 1991, Adobe Systems and H. Berthold AG announced the release of first PostScript versions of the Berthold Exklusiv typefaces pursuant to an agreement between H. Berthold AG and Adobe. Until 1999, Adobe marketed its versions of 365 Berthold Exklusivs under agreements with H. Berthold AG, and later Berthold Types Limited. These PostScript versions of the 365 Berthold Exklusiv typefaces are known as Adobe Berthold BE fonts. H. Berthold AG also independently created PostScript versions of the entire Berthold Exklusiv Collection (over 800 typefaces) as well as trademarked typefaces licensed from other foundries between 1991 and 1993. These PostScript versions are known as the Berthold BQ fonts.

The heavy market restructuring in the printing industry of the 1990s had a large impact on H. Berthold AG: in 1993 the company reported insolvency. A follow-up company H. Berthold Systeme GmbH was formed, but it finally was dissolved in 1996.

The Chicago-based Berthold Types foundry acquired the Berthold Exklusiv Collection and other rights from the Berlin-based successor to H. Berthold Systeme GmbH. The Berthold Types foundry now offers digital versions of the ‘Exklusiv’ Berthold typefaces, as well as other typeface designs from the original Berthold library.

Foundry details

  • Founded: 1858
  • Location:
    H. Berthold Aktiengesellschaft
    Berlin, 12247
    phone: +49307795400 [NOTE: This number is not in service]
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