In 1936 the German Standards committee Deutsches Institut Normung (DIN) officially proposed DIN 1451 as the standard type of lettering to be used in the field of road traffic. The purpose of this standard was to lay down a style of lettering which is timeless and easily legible. Unfortunately, these early letters lacked elegance and were not properly designed for typographic applications.
Ever since, several type foundries adopted the original designs for digital photocomposition. The first digital versions were released in 1990 by Adobe but only in four basic variations. Similar ones were also released by URW.
By early 2000, it became apparent that the existing DIN-based fonts did not fulfill the ever-increasing demand of complex corporate projects for more weights and support for additional languages.
Parachute® was set out to fill this gap by introducing the DIN Text series which, ever since, has become the most comprehensive and sophisticated set of DIN typefaces. It was based on the original standards but was specifically designed to fit typographic requirements. Completed in 2002, it was first released in 2003 and published in the award-winning catalog IDEA as a group of 4 separate families (original, condensed, compressed and a special display version) each with 12 weights, including true-italics, for a total of 48 weights and support for Latin and Greek.
By 2005, all families were upgraded to include 14 weights each, opentype features (small caps, etc) and extended support for all European languages including Cyrillic. Later, an additional Hairline weight was added to all families. Eventually, each superfamily ended up with 15 weights and an average 1280 glyphs per font. Finally, in 2010 Parachute® released 4 new families DIN Monospace, DIN Stencil, DIN Text Arabic and DIN Text Universal.
Altogether the Parachute DIN series is a set of 8 families with a total of 96 weights.
The DIN Text Pro has lowercase ascenders that are higher than the capitals, varying letter proportions and italics that are not a mechanically-obliqued version of the regular weights, but rather true-italics.
The letterforms divert from the stiff geometric structure of the original and introduce instead elements which are familiar, softer and easier to read. The other two superfamilies Condensed and Compressed share the same attributes as the original.
DIN Display Pro, on the other hand, was designed as an alternative to the DIN Text Pro series. While DIN Display seems to retain DIN’s basic characteristics, it shines with its sharper corners and contemporary look. This superfamily, just like the other three, is enhanced with true-italics.
PF DIN Mono is one of the latest additions to the ever-growing set of DIN super families by Parachute®. It was based on its proportional counterpart DIN Text Pro, but was completely redesigned to reflect its new identity. DIN Mono is a monospace typeface which is comprised of characters with fixed width. In the world of proportionality, DIN Monospace stands out as a fresh new alternative to the popular standard, particularly for publishing and branding applications. The Monospace family consists of 12 weights including true-italics.
Despite the fact that over the years several designers have manually created stencil lettering for various projects based on DIN, there has never been a professional digital stencil version of any DIN-based typeface. The DIN Stencil family manages to preserve several traditional stencil features, but introduces additional modernities which enhance its pleasing characteristics and make it an ideal choice for a large number of contemporary projects. Furthermore, the spacing attributes of the glyphs were redefined and legibility was improved by revising the shape of the letterforms. The DIN Stencil family consists of 8 diverse weights from the elegant Hairline to the muscular Black.
In 2010, Parachute® released -in collaboration with designer Hasan Abu Afash- 2 new versions. DIN Text Arabic is the basic Arabic version which includes Latin and supports all variations of the Arabic script such as Persian, Urdu and Pashto. The second version DIN Text Universal is the most advanced DIN superfamily ever. It combines the powerful DIN Text Pro with DIN Text Arabic bringing the number of glyphs to 3320 per font. It is also enhanced with 30 advanced opentype features and kerning for all languages. All together it supports hundreds of languages, proving to be an essential tool for corporations which operate internationally. The whole family consists of eight weights from extra black to hairline.