Tuesday, 4 November 2008

VAG Rounded.

Also known as VAG Rundschrift (Rundschrift is German for round writing). This font or typeface was designed in 1979 for the automotive manufacturers Volkswagen AG. A distinguishing feature of this typeface is the rounded end-stroke.1

VAG Rounded is based on earlier grotesque sans-serif typeface designs 2 which became influential in the 1920’s largely due to developments with the German Bauhaus movement, where it was adapted to express simplicity of form.

Sans serif is French for ‘without serifs’, serifs being the small features at the end of strokes. The term grotesque came about from the controversy surrounding these early sans serif typefaces.3

The demand for the new font arose in the early 1970’s when Volkswagen required a new brand identity to encompass all of their commercial activities, which by then also included Audi, the related car dealerships and financial services.

The design agency GGK Duesseldorf was awarded the design contract. Part of the brief was to develop a typeface which would replace the Futura typeface being used by Volkswagen and the Times typeface used by Audi.

The idea for a rounded typeface is accredited to Wolf Rogosky (Creative Director) and Gerd Hieplar (Art Director). The original font was drawn by hand and refined on a PDP-8 minicomputer. The font was widely in use for desktop publishing by the mid 1980’s.4

The font is believed to have influenced many typeface designs including the General Electric ‘GE Inspira’. Although Volkswagen phased out the use of VAG Rounded during the 1990's it is still widely used today and is under license from Adobe Systems.5

G.E. Inspira Logo 9

VAG Rounded is also arguably influencing a current style of logos in modern Web Design with a soft and friendly appearance.6 The font has been in use as a keyboard typeface by the Apple Inc. company since 1999 for their range of notebook computers. 7

An example of VAG Rounded8


1. VAG Rounded Black, itcfonts.com , 04/11/2008

2. VAG Rounded Std., Adobe.com , 04/11/2008

3. Kirsanov, [02/1998], sans serif history, webreference , 04/11/2008

4. [17/08/2008], VAG Rounded, en.wikipedia.org , 04/11/2008

5. VAG Rounded, absoluteastronomy.com , 04/11/2008

6. Coles [07/03/2006], The Logos of Web 2.0, fontfeed.com, 04/11/2008

7. [17/08/2008], VAG Rounded, en.wikipedia.org , 04/11/208

8. [17/08/2008], Image: VAG Sample.gif en.wikipedia.org, 04/11/208

9. GE Inspira, absoluteastronomy.com, 04/11/2008


Sam Crawshaw said...

Looking good John. Doesn't GE own everything on the planet?

Martyn Wise said...

Very interesting. Thoroughly researched, informative, easy-to-read and well presented.

Sam Crawshaw said...

Hey John.

Time to be a bit more critical I'm afraid. Although I can only see two slight things.

First one is the superscript numbers. From what I can see the not that superscript. They are leaving a slight gap between the line it's sitting on and the one above it. What font are you using?

The other is your text next to the image. I think a carriage return is needed or p tag placing around the paragraphs.

Over all a informative piece though. Lots of references to back up your work.

Hope this is useful.


Brad Howell said...

Hi John,

A very interesting and informative piece, looks like you did plenty of research on this one.

The text is quite easy to read although it does look clumped together with the pictures. I feel this constricts the flow of reading somewhat. Maybe it could have been aligned a little better.

All this taken into account, it looks pretty good.



David Stanley said...

Hey john, Really interesting read, Nice research. The only thing i can see whats different is eh superscript number 9 it looks smaller than the rest.

Dominic Rafter said...

Hi John. I feel your first image is too close to the text and is disturbing the read.


Tim Stringer said...

Hi John,

Overall I think the content of your entry is excellent, good use of multiple sources and even a couple of real life examples of the font in action.

My only comments would be:

I would agree with what the others have said.

Where you have used the word wrap the pictures seem to overpower the text and make the layout look a little scrappy.

The only other issue would be the lack of links in the body text to things which would benefit from a link.

Other than those two issues good work John.

Nick Stead said...

Hi John,

Good post. I agree with the others and would also add that the number 2 in superscript has a space after it. Apologies if someone else already picked up on that.

Regards, Nick

Anonymous said...

Hi John,

Good entry John. I like that you have explained certain key terms too. Good use of images and references.

My only comment that differs from our colleagues is simply that you put 'manufactures' instead of manufacturer in the first paragraph.

Other than that, nice work.

Ian Thompson said...

Hi John,
Very well researched and written piece. I've found it both interesting and informative.

My only grumbles echo previous comments - the text wrapping round the images just isn't working. I think the images would look better by themselves with clear space between them and the paragraphs. Also a clear line of space between the paragraphs would make the entry alot easier to read. The inclusion of hyperlinks within the text would finish your entry off nicely.

All the best,


ps Top marks for SPG!

Paul Beeley said...

Well Done John, well researched and brilliantly documented.

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mack said...

This is fascinating.
I’d been taught that left-aligned labels are preferred, to support the prototypical F-shaped eye-tracking heatmap of web browsing. The idea is that it supports easy vertical scanning.
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