Rublena is the most used black grotesk on the ex-USSR terrain. It originated at the end of the XIX century in the city of Danzig as Zeitungs-Grotesque. Ever since this metal type was copied and distributed all around the globe in a broad variety of names and versions. According to researcher Dr. Dan Reynolds, “it was once the protype for a heavy sans serif in German type-making.” Rublena is an “orphan child” of the metal type era. This type came out just one year before copyright law went into effect in 1876, which predestined the font to be bootlegged by different typographers.
Due to the high commercial success, some foundries cut Cyrillic versions, and the font quickly became popular in the Russian Empire. After the Revolution of 1917, all the types were expropriated from private enterprises and became state property. According to the plan-based economy, all the industries including printing and type-making were revised. Many types were cast out. For this, a commission has been convened, consisting of printing- and type specialists. Rublena passed the selection criteria and entered the Soviet era. Whenever typeset, this font has always served comradery to the broad typographic tasks, convincing the viewer with its strong character, offering radical contrast between headline and body text.
Being convinced of its everlasting visual strength, we aimed to re-evaluate it and produce a modern titling font. Rublena is not a revival of any particular source, but a free interpretation of an old protype. It takes the best from our research covering all possible artifacts and shines to you in a new build!
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