New font release: Krul

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Ramiro Espinoza's picture
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Joined: 1 Aug 2002 - 9:32am
New font release: Krul
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‘Krul’ is a typographic interpretation of the lettering style created by Dutch letter painter Jan Willem Joseph Visser at the end of the 1940s, which decorated the traditional brown bars of Amsterdam. In the beginning, these letters were strongly associated with the pubs connected to the Amstel brewery, given that Visser was the company's official painter. As the years passed, the style became increasingly popular, and various business owners in Amsterdam and other Dutch and Belgian cities also commissioned its use. In the 1970s and 1980s, Leo Beukeboom, another talented letter painter, continued and expanded this lettering tradition while employed under the Heineken brand. Much of his work can still be found in the Jordaan and De Pijp neighborhoods in Amsterdam.

The Amsterdamse Krulletter, or Amsterdam's curly letter, is strongly inspired by the calligraphic works of the 17th century Dutch writing masters, of which Jan van den Velde was a central figure. However, distinct characteristics of this style, for example, its unusual and beautiful ‘g’, originate from a model that was published by Johannes Heuvelman in 1659, which J. W. J. Visser referenced.

Typographic circles have somehow overlooked the Amsterdamse Krulletter and its heritage. The Dutch calligraphic hands preceded and influenced the formal English penmanship which has inspired numerous typefaces in the Copperplate style. In contrast, the models from van den Velde, Heuvelman, and Jean de la Chambre, among others, are a missing chapter in Dutch typographic history, and had never been turned into typefaces until now.

Conscious of the cultural and identity issues that arise in reviving a unique style, and concerned about the speed with which the lettering style was disappearing, Ramiro Espinoza focused the project of designing ‘Krul’ on digitally recreating the calligraphic complexity of these beautiful letters. Created through several years of research, ‘Krul’ is not a direct digitization of the Amsterdamse Krulletter, but instead, an interpretation that incorporates numerous alternative characters absent in the original model, and improves upon details where necessary, resulting in an optimal performance on the printed page. The typeface is presented in Open Type format, with an abundance of intricate ligatures, fleurons, and swashes, which permit the creation of numerous calligraphic effects.

The very high contrast and rhythm of the strokes in this typeface make it especially suited for media applications conveying a sense of elegance and sophistication. Designers of feminine magazines, advertisements, and corporate identities within the fragrance and fashion industries will find in this typeface to be an extremely useful and appropriate resource.

The great Amsterdamse Krulletter is finally back, and we are proud to make it available to you.

'Krul' can be purchased at [[http://www.re-type.com/fonts/fonts-krul.html|ReType]]

Charles Borges de Oliveira's picture
Joined: 19 Mar 2003 - 2:21pm
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Nice looking font! I like the flourish set on the S.

Ramiro Espinoza's picture
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Joined: 1 Aug 2002 - 9:32am
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Thanks! :)

Craig Eliason's picture
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Joined: 19 Mar 2004 - 1:44pm
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Is that a swash period?! Awesome!
Congrats and good luck.

Ramiro Espinoza's picture
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Joined: 1 Aug 2002 - 9:32am
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Yes! There are 3 period.swsh alternates in Krul :)
Thanks.

Danny Hannah's picture
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Joined: 3 Dec 2004 - 1:04pm
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Excellent job, Ramiro! Revivals like this are making a comeback!

Jasper Michael de Waard's picture
Joined: 24 Apr 2008 - 10:32am
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Congratz Ramiro! A true beauty.

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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Fresh!
What serendipity drew you in this direction Ramiro?

Ramiro Espinoza's picture
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Joined: 1 Aug 2002 - 9:32am
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@ 1996type: Thanks!
@ Nick: I lived in Amsterdam for about 8 years. There, walking down the Jordaan area, I realized traditional pubs and some stores were using a kind of script that was unknown to me. When I documented it and took pictures, it was obvious that the style was very consistent and there was probably an interesting story behind. Then, after finding and interviewing one of its painter (Leo Beukeboom), I continued digging up information from the Amsterdam Photographic Archives and getting information and documents from the relatives of J. W. J. Visser, the letter painter who created the style in the 40s. It is an interesting story and with some luck I will publish it. Cheers.

Bruno Duarte's picture
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Joined: 3 Feb 2012 - 10:43am
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nice work men, really like the elegance of it.

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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…with some luck I will publish it.

I’ll settle for a talk at ATypI, TypeCon or TypoSomeWhereOrOther!

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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Wonderful, Ramiro! Great job!

Ramiro Espinoza's picture
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Joined: 1 Aug 2002 - 9:32am
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@ Nick: Really? I thought ATypI talks were for Nobel Prizes in Typography, etc. :) Anyway, I haven't really considered... so far.