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Dan Reynolds


Dan Reynolds
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  • Re: Romanée – New Release?

    From everything I have read about Van Krimpen, I think that he is the 20th Century type designer who would have been the most appalled by the idea of a typeface he created for one typesetting medium being converted into another medium, without him being about to control the details himself. What I mean is that, the best way to respect Van Krimpen’s legacy might actually be to not convert his typefaces into new media. Does that mean that, eventually, his typefaces will be forgotten? Probably. But that might actually have been how he would have wanted it, all things being equal.

    Hrant’s message may be: “the opinions of the dead don’t matter, it is the culture of the living that matters.” In the end, you will have to decide for yourselves what you want to do. I don’t think you are likely to get a community consensus in one direction or the other. Either here, or on a German-language website.
  • Re: Romanée – New Release?

    Has Holger asked his instructors from The Hague about this? After all, his revival was a student assignment there. I imagine that their answer could be helpful in how you all decided to come to your eventual conclusion.

    If you do release the design, I would very much hope that you pick a new name for the typeface, and not call it Romanée.

    You already know that there are individuals close to the original design (in terms of geography, history, tradition, family, not to mention who have relationships with the company that originally published the foundry-typeface) that would not welcome your use of the name.

    I personally would not dismiss their feelings on the matter, especially because they already made those clear to you. It is not worth the backlash online, and in the design press, that they could surely bring onto you, if they so desired.
  • Re: Does that “y” exist?

    Basically, since the bobtail-g seems to have become popular in the era after baseline standardization had already been institutionalised.

    I do not have “proof” of this; meaning that I have never read an article or letter where a designer said, “I make my g look like this because of the availabile baseline space,” but I have developed a hunch.
  • Re: Does that “y” exist?

    Maxim Zhukov said:
    I suspect, the reason of German designers’ experimenting with the form of the l.c. g was their desire to hybridize two conventional varieties of the g—monocular (in Fraktur) and binocular (in Antiqua).
    German typefoundries agreed to introduce a standard baseline (die Deutsche Normal-Schriftline) in 1905. This was based on the standard baseline instituted by the Genzsch & Heyse typefoundry in Hamburg in 1903. Genzsch & Heyse, in turn, had borrowed the idea from the Inland Type Foundry in the US, where Emil Julius Genzsch’s son had briefly worked in the 1890s during something like a Wanderjahre.

    When the German typefoundries collectively agreed to a standard baseline, they instituted changes to Genzsch & Heyse’s proposal. From a design point-of-view, these changes look bad today. German printers wanted blackletter and roman type to share a common baseline, even though blackletter types had traditionally had much lower baselines on the body of a piece of type, due to its usually-short descenders.

    The German standard baseline does not fall at the same uniform, fixed proportional position for all sizes of type, they way it would in a scalable digital font. Certain sizes of type got very, very short descenders, which really only work for blackletter typefaces. Other point sizes have quite generous descender space allotted to them. This was not done for optical considerations, such as “small-sized text should have short descenders” (as in Monotype hot-metal Plantin, or many newspaper typefaces). Instead, the baseline was repositioned at each side in a way that would allow multiple type sizes to be combined on a single line, with the help of standardized spacing material being placed above and below the smaller type (allowing for e.g., the easy combination of 8 pt and 12 pt type on the same line).

    This is important because the message eventually filtered down to the type designers (who did NOT prepare size-specific variants of letters in their drawings). The result of the short-descenders-in-certain-random-type-sizes was that German type designers (in my opinion) opted for simpler forms of the g in roman and sans serif type designs. 

    I have a bunch of images to back this up; most of them are toward the end of the presentation I gave at Kerning in Faenza last June: 
  • Re: Stephen Fry re-invents printing with movable type

    In many of the histories of printing and typography written by western authors during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it was common to include a chapter about prior inventions and concepts that bore similarities to printing as we know it (three such examples that come to mind are Hansard’s Typographia, De Vinne’s Invention of Printing, and Reed’s 
    A History of the Old English Letter Foundries). These chapters usually discussed the printing of seals into clay in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, but also mentioned a letter of Cicero’s, in which his ruminations came very close to describing the system of type-making and printing ascribed to Gutenberg, which of course were only realized a millennium and a half later. Quintilian is also cited, etc.

    These authors’ point, I think, was that the idea of printing with moveable metal type was not inherently novel in-and-of-itself, but that Gutenberg (presumably) was the person in the west to successfully put the theory into practice.