Assimil

Assimil (France) / c. 1942

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Design: The label name is drawn in sans serif block capitals, radiating outward, and reversed out of a solid panel; the other information appears in a display font with strong verticals and triangular serifs. There seems to be little regard for typographic harmony; the objective is only to maximize the information.

History: Label scan courtesy of collector Georg Richter of Germany, who writes: "Assimil, a French company, was founded by  Alphonse Chérel in 1929 and is still active today. It creates and publishes foreign language courses, which began with their first book "Anglais Sans Peine" ("English Without Toil"). Since then, the company has expanded into numerous other languages. Different language courses were named for the target countries, e.g. 'Ohne Mühe' for Germany; 'Sans Peine' for France; 'Zonder Moetie' for The Netherlands etc. The text of the lessons could be quite humorous, such as this example, freely translated from a German lesson: "A pedestrian says to a drunken guy crawling on all fours around a street lamp, 'What are you doing?' The drunk replies, 'I am searching for my latchkey.' Pedestrian: 'Where did you lose it?' Drunk: 'Five metres away.' Pedestrian: 'Why don't you search there for it?' Drunk: 'Because the light's much brighter here, under the street lamp.'"




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