Holy crap, that’s right! The typechallenge Apple offered on key-boards was VAG Rounded, starting through the iBook in 1999. I pulled mine off the wall to watch for myself, and also yep, it checks out:


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It’s sitting beside an even older Apple //c I’ve been messing around via, which sported a very various style language. I figured it can’t hurt to present you both, right?

Apple began using this typeface in 1999, but the history goes back to 1979, and the background behind it is exciting. The typeface came around as component of Volkswagen’s procedure from transcreating from the original, air-cooled, rear-engined, Beetle-moved Volkswagen that started in 1938 right into the front-engined, liquid-cooled Volkswagen that we recognize this day.

You are watching: See if you can spot this one


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As I’ve created about prior to, modern-day Volkswagen isn’t really Volkswagen. It’s really a re-born Auto Union, and it was this shift that spurred VW to develop its own typeconfront.

You see, through Auto Union came all of their tech, normally offered under the DKW brand just prior to the sale to VW in 1964, however also the Audi name, which VW wanted to re-introduce. VW wanted to uncover some visual identity that was between the bold, sans-serif Futura they’d been using given that the early ‘60s and also the classy, serif’d Times font provided by Audi.


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They required somepoint that would certainly work-related for dealers that carried both VW and also Audi, something that caught an as a whole common aspect between the two. It was a tricky architecture trouble.


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Image: VAG Rounded
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Art directors at VW determined on a rounded kind of typeconfront, yet weren’t able to uncover anything that quite matched what they were looking for, so they designed their own, a clean, contemporary looking font that has rounded finish caps to letters, developing an extremely friendly, accessible-looking typeface.

Also amazing is that while the type was basically designed by hand, it was “refined” on a PDP-8 minicomputer system, making it an early example of typography designed through computer-based tools.


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VW offered this typeconfront on the majority of branding and also products throughout the 1980s, and up until about 1992; I have a few ‘80s-era brochures that show it off nicely:


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Image: Jason Torchinsky
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Look at that! Very appealing and also friendly-looking, just the thing to tempt you into a brand-new Dasher wagon. Here’s a great instance wright here you deserve to watch it in multiple weights, offered as a headline and body typeface:


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Image: Jakid Torchinsky
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The name, VAG Rounded, is a little of a mystery, though. I always assumed it stood for Volkswagen AG, yet that doesn’t actually seem to be the situation. According to Bertel Schmitt, who was a Creative Director at VW at the moment and is currently a fellow autojourno, the story behind the name was always murky:

Yeah, I remember VAG and also nobody, consisting of dealers, knew what it stood for . Volkswagen AG?

It stood for nopoint.

We were all sworn to secrecy, however to hell through it.

In the course of the previously mentioned name change operation, someone came running down the hall and shouted: “Everybody STOP!”

Breathlessly, he told that he simply had actually remained in the legal dept, and also legal shelp if the name of the company is readjusted, then new dealer contracts would certainly have to be written. At the moment, nobody (except the dealers) believed this was a bbest principle.

So they came up through V.A.G. It could have stood for anything: Volkswagenwerk AG, Volkswagen AG, Volkswagen Audi Gesellschaft, you name it. Intentional ambiguity. But it was extremely verboten to say what the acronym stood for.

See more: The Way We Re Working Isn T Working, The Way We'Re Working Isn'T Working

Inside VW, for many kind of years, the joke went that V.A.G stood for “Von Adolf Gegründet” (Founded By Adolf.) Those were the days once laughter still wasn’t illegal at VW.