Open main menu


  (Redirected from Koch Antiqua)

Koch-Antiqua is a serif typeface intended for decorative and display use, designed by Rudolf Koch and published by his employer the Klingspor Type Foundry from 1922 onwards. It is a delicate face with a low x-height, intended for decorative printing rather than for extended body text.[1]

Koch-Antiqua was Koch’s first roman or “Antiqua” type (the kind generally used in western Europe, as opposed to blackletter writing) and achieved considerable attention both in Germany and abroad. It was exported under the names “Locarno” and “Eve”. Walter Tracy commented of it “I know of no type more elegant…Koch Antiqua is a highly individual design. It reveals the working of a fastidious mind and a skilful hand…perfectly suited to express in print the idea of elegance”.[1]



Koch-Antiqua was released in several weights:

  • Roman (the regular weight) - the only style digitised by Linotype
  • "Kursiv" - a mixture of a true italic (in which the letters take handwriting forms) and oblique (simply slanted, as in the ‘a’). The capitals have a line drawn in them at larger sizes, an effect that in Tracy’s words “only a designer thoroughly familiar with the elaborate capitals of some of the older German gothic lettering, and uninhibited by the traditions of roman and italic, would apply”.[1][a]
  • Bold ("groß") and bold italic, with a more "carved" design[1]
  • “Oberlängen”: Double-height capitals and letters with ascenders, making the lower-case look even more small and delicate[5]
  • Decorative capitals: Zierbuchstaben, inline capitals and Initialen, floral designs created by Koch’s associate Willi Harwerth.
  • Extra-bold weight ("fett")

A number of unauthorised imitations were later created by American Type Founders under the names of Rivioli and Paramount.[6][7]


Koch-Antiqua has never been fully digitised, but a number of releases of some of the weights have been created. According to Paul Shaw, Eva Antiqua is the most complete digitisation, which also adds digitisations of the bold weights of the ATF knockoff font Paramount.[8] None of the releases available as of 2011 include the decorative and extra-high letters of the original.[5] At least one freeware implementation uses the Zierbuchstaben as its basis.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d Tracy, Walter. Letters of Credit. pp. 153–173. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  2. ^ Hendrik D. L. Vervliet (19 December 2013). Post-Incunabula en Hun Uitgevers in de Lage Landen / Post-Incunabula and Their Publishers in the Low Countries: Een bloemlezing gebaseerd op Wouter Nijhoff’s L’Art typographique uitgegeven ter gelegenheid van het 125-jarig bestaan van Martinus Nijhoff op 1 januari 1978 / A selection based on Wouter Nijhoff’s L’Art typographique published in commemoration of the 125th anniversary of Martinus Nijhoff on January 1, 1978. Springer. pp. 142–4. ISBN 978-94-017-4814-8.
  3. ^ Vervliet, H. D. L. (1968). "Lambrecht's Bourgeois Italic". Sixteenth-Century printing types of the Low Countries. Houten: Hes & De Graaf. ISBN 9789061948599.
  4. ^ Lambrecht, Joos (1539). Refereynen int vroede... Ghent: Joos Lambrecht. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  5. ^ a b Shaw, Paul. "Overlooked Typefaces". Print magazine. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  6. ^ Loxley, Simon. "Font Wars: A Story On Rivalry Between Type Foundries". Smashing Magazine. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  7. ^ Allan Haley (15 September 1992). Typographic Milestones. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 69–76. ISBN 978-0-471-28894-7.
  8. ^ "Eva Antiqua". MyFonts. Speice Graphics. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  9. ^ Steffman, Dieter (2005). "Koch-Antiqua Zier". Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  1. ^ Although presumably an independent invention, Koch was not the first to think of combining italic with blackletter inline capitals: the idea was used somewhat chaotically by Ghent printer Joos Lambrecht in the introduction to a book of 1539, which also introduced roman type to the Low Countries.[2][3][4]

External linksEdit