Perhaps the most contemporary of Berthold Wolpe’s designs, Tempest is recognised by its fin-like details, which lend it a retro-yet-futuristic personality. The designer created the all-caps typeface in 1935 for the Fanfare Press, and it was cut for Monotype the following year.
The design originally started as lettering for a Fanfare Press book cover, and was commissioned by chairman Ernest Ingham – who wanted something decidedly un-static. Wolpe later decided to complete it as an entire alphabet, creating accompanying swashes which further add to its sense of urgency and movement.
Toshi Omagari has restored and extended these swashes, adding to Tempest’s potential, particularly when it comes to titling uses.
Its energetic nature made for a perfect accompaniment to Paul Brickhill’s novel The Great Escape, with Faber & Faber creating a type-only cover and setting Tempest in bright red, as well as using it for Lawrence Durrell’s adventure story White Eagles Over Serbia.
Book cover designer Daniel Benneworth-Gray has also created a contemporary take on The Great Escape, restraining Tempest’s exuberant letterforms behind barbed wire. Original artwork for Faber & Faber’s Best Stories of the Sea, created by Wolpe, also shows the designer using its sinuous S to great effect. Other literary uses include The Eagle comic, which paired the typeface with Wolpe’s Fanfare.
The Wolpe Exhibition at The Type Archive, London, is open to the public until Monday 4 December and is free to visit. For opening times and more information click here.Wolpe Tempest and The Wolpe Collection. All five families are included in the Mosaic font service.