Lettera 1–4
The Lettera series (1–4) by Armin Haab, Alex Stocker, and Walter Haettenschweiler. Published by Arthur Nigli, 1954–72. (More images coming soon.)

These books were (pretty random) collections of pre-existing typefaces mixed with original alphabets by the authors. They were quite influential in 1960s–70s design with various studios (such as Vignelli Associates) photostatting the letters from the books for use in advertising and other display typography. This was despite a sort of ambiguous warning that the copyrighted alphabets cannot be reproduced without permission.

It’s also become evident to me that the original alphabets in these pages (not necessarily complete and functioning typefaces on their own) were used by others as source material for many new typefaces during the phototype boom. I’ll post some examples of that soon.

The authors were very aware that the books were being used these ways and Armin Haab wrote about it in a preface to Lettera 4.

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