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DIN Stencil Types

No DIN Stencil Specs?

It may sound surprising, but there were no exact specifications for the standard DIN fonts (Engschrif, Mittelschrift, Breitschrift) if they were to be executed as stencil typefaces. The manufacturers of these stencils were expected to comply with the DIN 1451 standard. There was only a precise blueprint for the now defunct «DIN Schablonenschrift A» (DIN Stencil Type A), which is no longer valid today and has little in common with the actual DIN typefaces.

In Germany, there were many small and large metal and engraving companies that also produced all kinds of marking, lettering and embroidery items, including stencil tools. The DIN typefaces were another group of letter design that were included in their product line.

So it is not surprising that each manufacturer cut the letters slightly differently. Especially where the stencil bridges were placed in the letters there are differences. There were also slight differences in how narrow or wide the letters were drawn and in the width of the strokes. In most cases there is no manufacturer or trademark on the old stencils. It is difficult to impossible to determine the exact manufacturer of many old DIN stencils.

In the case of larger public tenders, such as those for the equipment of the German armed forces, larger companies, mainly producing tools and machinery, also became involved in the production of DIN stencils, at least for a time.

  1. image: DIN Stencils, Catalog of Sächische Metall-Schablonen-Fabrik, ca. 1940
  2. image: DIN Stencils, Catalog of Sächische Metall-Schablonen-Fabrik, ca. 1940
  3. image: Din Stencil Marking, Ammo Crate of Wehrmacht, (Third Reich Army), ca. 1940

DIN Stencil Set, 40mm by Bonum, ca. 2010

DIN Stencil Set, 40mm by Bonum Werkzeuge GmbH, ca.2010

German Armed Forces - Reichswehr, Bundeswehr, Volksarmee

As a result of the experiences of World War I, standardization was widespread in the German economy and thus in the defense industry and the military. The DIN Schablonenschrift A (Din Stencil Type A) was probably only included in standard DIN 1451 for military use.

From about the 1950s until at least the 1970s, the «Feldjäger» vehicles of the Bundenwehr were equipped with a small metal case containing several sets of stencils in various sizes for quick marking. These sets were called «Schriftenmaler» or «Schablonenausstattung» and were listed under the item number 7520-12-120-2300. Included were various brushes, DIN type stencils for capital letters and numerals in 16, 20, 45 and 80 mm height.

In general, in Germany such stencils are called «Signierschablonen» (Marking Stencils), and in the box as a set also called «Signierkasten» (Marking Box).

In the armed forces of the former GDR, a DIN type stencil (TGL 1451) was also used for Feldjäger units. The stencils are made of plastic plates. Mostly these stencils were rare and other parts of the army did not have access to them. In the 1950s it was very common that the individual crews of the tanks made the marking stencils of the vehicles themselves, somehow.

Even the Swiss Army uses DIN stencils in later marking boxes. In the Switzerland this assortment is called «Wegweisersortiment» (German) / «Assortiment de jalons» (French) / «Assortimento per segnaletica» (Italian).


Vtg Stencil DIN - Regular, type tester >>> To start editing, click the text line!

If you like this font, you can buy a license at astype fonts.

DIN Stencil Font Licensing

Vtg Stencil Din - Regular from astype fonts is part of the official German standard DIN 1451-1:2018-12 as a reference for stencil fonts designed according to DIN 1451-2.

The font can be license from the astype fonts website.


  • DIN 1451-1:2018