It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that these letter shapes are familiar. They have the unmistakable color and weight of Cooper Black, Oswald Cooper's most famous typeface from 1921. What should be a surprise is that these letters are actually from George Auriol's Robur Noir (or Robur Black), published in France circa 1909 by the Peignot foundry as a bolder, solid counterpart to its popular Auriol typeface (1901). This face precedes Cooper Black by a dozen of years and a whole Great War. Cooper Black has always been a bit of a strange typographical apparition to anyone who tried to explain its original purpose, instant popularity in the 1920s, and major revival in the late 1960s. BB
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