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New work: Dutch Alphabets

“Dutch Alphabets” is a new collection of lettering compiled by Mathieu Lommen and Peter Verheul. It was published in February 2016 by Uitgeverij De Buitenkant, who describe it as “a portfolio containing 47 broadsides featuring new samples of lettering and writing by today’s most significant ‘Dutch’ lettering artists, type designers, calligraphers and sign painters. All the contributors are working and/or educated in the Netherlands.”

The publication, which I keep wanting to call a book but which is in fact a nicely bound portfolio with loose leaves plus an introductory booklet, has been produced in a rather luxurious limited edition. Copies can be ordered directly from De Buitenkant.

I am honored and happy to be included in the selection. My contribution is based on a couple of alphabets I drew for a student project initiated by TypeRadio; I had been hoping to revisit those quirky shapes, but couldn’t really envisage them as a font, so a lettering sample seemed like a great place for them. For this publication, I completely redrew them with rethought proportions, contrast, and spacing. What remained is the concept: The letters are made of two “intertwined” layers (one of them looser and mostly connected, the other one more typographic) that appear to oscillate around a common centerline, with their amplitude and contrast logic finding harmony in contradiction. These letterforms pushed me safely outside my comfort zone, and they were also really fun to draw; I’m glad they have found such a nice home.

“Jazz is rhythm and meaning” —Henri Matisse
“Wait, so is type” —me