The Dr. Böger group of companies concerned itself early with the subjects of typesetting and reproduction. Already in 1934, Dr. Marius Böger formed the first company for the manufacture and distribution of “Photocopying and Reproduction” systems. In 1950, the company Dr. Böger Duplomat Apparate GmbH was founded with the goal of producing systems for blueprint repro photography. The beginnings of today’s Scangraphic Digital Type Collection can be traced to 1969 when the Dr. Böger Photosatz GmbH was founded. Since then, the company has concentrated on the development of new typesetting technologies. During the ensuing years, more than 3500 headline typesetters of the brand “Copytype” were sold. With the manufacture of the typeface disks that were necessary to operate these typesetters, the company also gained first-hand knowledge about the creation of type samples. Of considerable advantage was the fact that Bernd Holthusen who managed the company for two decades, was a trained typographer and designer. In 1976, under the leadership of the Managing Director Kurt Schmiedel, the company decided to concentrate its efforts on the development of digital typesetting technologies. At DRUPA 1982, the Scantext 1000 Typesetting System was shown for the first time. By the end of 1984, the system was successfully sold in 15 European countries and became serious competition to such established manufacturers as H. Berthold AG, Linotype AG and the American Compugraphic Corp. In contrast to its competitors, Scangraphic offered most practicing professionals and aesthetes the opportunity to combine a high level of quality on both the typographic and the system technological fronts at reasonable prices.

To a large extent this was possible because of the digital type library that was sold with the system. The first typeface catalog was published in 1984 and displayed 520 digital text and advertising designs on 1312 pages. Already in February 1985, the year the Apple Macintosh was introduced, the second edition of the Scangraphic Digital Type Collection appeared, this time in two volumes. 751 typefaces were presented on over 2000 pages. Each font in these 183 typeface families was shown on two pages in 17 sizes and 21 text blocks with a complete display of symbols. Visual inspirations paired with measuring and type-technical information made these publications into a valuable source for all who had to learn to work with new typesetting techniques.

At the start of any type digitization process Scangraphic insisted on the clarification of license rights and the signing of an appropriate contract with the holder of the user rights. With the increasing success of the Scantext system, however, bigger problems surfaced. This concerned primarily the licensing of so-called “Exclusive Typefaces” owned by the competitors Linotype AG and H. Berthold AG, without which is was often impossible to persuade users to change their typesetting systems. An exchange of typefaces among different systems, as is a given today, was simply not possible during the time of the transition from analog phototypesetting systems to the digital laser technologies since all systems at that time consisted of a single functioning unit. This reality also made it necessary for Scangraphic, wherever juristically applicable, to offer typefaces of great similarity or direct copies of typefaces belonging to their competitors. Scangraphic even added a Reference Listigs of Similar Typefaces (see link at the end of this text) to some of their own type specimen so that end users could be competitive with other typesetting systems when they placed their orders.

In order to add their own type designs to counter the offerings of their competitors, Bernd Holthusen ordered the development of exclusive designs. This is how Hermann Zapf was won for the design of the “Renaissance Antiqua” (1987), and in-house, the Typoart Dresden designer Volker Küster was engaged to create the typeface family “Today” (1988.) The Antiqua family “Forlane” by Jelle Bosma (1991) and the pixellated face “Kapplusch” (Karl-Max Kapplusch, 1984) extended this line.

For the manufacture of their digital fonts Scangraphic developed its own process which was based on the experience gained from the type disk manufacture for Copytype-headline typesetters. In the beginning, the types which were released by the license providers in differing levels of quality, were enlarged to an x-height of 60 mm. They were then, letter by letter, adjusted and sharpened with the help of the so-called “shaving technique” (Schabetechnik) which had been developed specifically for this purpose. These clean analog sketches were mounted on punchcards and then digitized with the aid of a special Scangraphic Scanner. This data was then corrected electronically and subjected to a quality control process during which spacing and kerning were further optimized. After the necessary typesetting samples, the digital production of the symbols began, which, even then, were already designed to a 512 x 512 resolution.

In many cases, digital data was already used as the base for font production when the Supertype-Fonts, which revolutionized headline typesetting, were subsequently released. In the course of completing the Supertypes complement towards the end of the 1980s, over 900 data formats were acquired by URW in Hamburg, and, under the leadership and the direction of the Scangraphic Type Director Volker Küster, adjusted by URW. Since the release of these headline fonts the typefaces in the Scangraphic Type Collection appear in two versions. One is designed specifically for headline typesetting (Bodytypes) and one specifically for text typesetting (Supertype). The most obvious differentiation can be found in the spacing. That of the Bodytypes is adjusted for readability. That of the Supertypes is decidedly more narrow in order to do justice to the requirements of headline typesetting. The kerning tables, as well, have been individualized for each of these type varieties. In addition to the adjustment of spacing, there are also adjustments in the design. For the Bodytypes, fine spaces were created which prevented the smear effect on acute angles in small typesizes. For a number of Bodytypes, hairlines and serifs were thickened or the whole typeface was adjusted to meet the optical requirements for setting type in small sizes. For the German lower-case diacritical marks, all Supertype complements contain alternative integrated accents which allow the compact setting of lower-case headlines.

With the increasing use of personal computers as the front end for typesetting all Scangraphic Fonts were changed to the then prevailing Post-Script Format and could thus be used on all desktop systems. In 1992, the number of available fonts was 1600 typefaces (see link at the end of this text) of which about 60% were available as both text (SB) and headline fonts (SH).

Today, because of changes in the jurisdiction and the discontinuation of license contracts, only 900 faces of the complete data complement are still being offered by Elsner+Flake. Thus far, however, it has been possible to negotiate special license contracts for specific cases with the present license holders. Since 2004, Scangraphic-Fonts have been sold exclusively by Elsner+Flake under a license agreement with Scangraphic Prepress Technology GmbH. Customer-specific alterations take place in the Elsner+Flake Designstudios with the consent of the respective license holders.

Text excerpts with kind approval from Scangraphic Prepress Technology GmbH, 2008

Scangraphic Digital Type Collection, Referenzlist 1992

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