Evert Bloemsma and FF Balance

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Hi everyone,

A short while ago I discovered FF Balance by Evert Bloemsma and I've become a bit obsessed. As someone relatively new to type... it sort of shocked me. It seems to break so many "rules" while still functioning fairly well as a text face. What a terrible loss that Bloemsma is no longer with us.

I've since spent considerable time digging around for any information – Bloemsma is discussed in Middendorp's Dutch Type, but aside from that there isn't a whole lot – a few articles here and there, including an essay by Bloemsma in Letters: een bloemlezing over typografie (which I actually purchased and Google Translated) and an interview in 5pts. published buy Underware.

There was apparently a specimen:
 
https://www.behance.net/gallery/7809479/FF-Balance-specimen

... which I'd love to get a better look at, but I wouldn't know where to begin searching for such a thing.

So I'm asking the community here: has anyone have any more information about this? Does anyone know where I could get a more thorough look at the text of the specimen? I wonder if there's archival material regarding the typeface's development – might someone have access to it? Maybe it's in a library somewhere?

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  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,034
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    Letterform Archive are sure to have a copy of the Balance specimen, and possibly other material related to Evert and his work. It is possible to order high resolution images from them for research purposes. Or, of course, if you are ever in San Francisco you can visit their collection.
  • Paul Hanslow
    Paul Hanslow Posts: 164
    edited June 2023
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    There's also a Typeface Review of FF Balance on I Love Typographys blog (from 2008), written by Kris Sowersby. link


  • James Puckett
    James Puckett Posts: 1,978
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    There’s short chapter about Bloemsma in the book Made With FontFont.
  • Nick Shinn
    Nick Shinn Posts: 2,158
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    While the “top-heavy” quality of Balance is evident, it does overshadow another feature of the design, which is as much a part of the effect, namely that the horizontal stems are elsewhere pretty much the same thickness as the vertical. This flouts the convention that verticals should be thicker, which addresses an optical illusion that may be biological, cultural, or both.
  • elliott
    elliott Posts: 8
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    Thanks everyone for the links and info!
    Letterform Archive are sure to have a copy of the Balance specimen
    It hadn't occurred to me to check with Letterform – I've sent them an email. Fingers crossed!