Introducing Dulcinea, a new script from ReType

Ramiro Espinoza's picture

Dulcinea is the title of Ramiro Espinoza’s in-depth look at Spanish Baroque calligraphy’s most extreme tendencies, and especially at some of those produced by the writing masters Pedro Díaz Morante and Juan Claudio Aznar de Polanco. These 17th and 18th centuries alphabets with their plentiful calligraphic flourishes represented a marked break with the harmonic and angular Renaissance Cancellaresca style.
It was Morante who first introduced and popularized the use of the pointed quill in Spain, and although his famous text entitled “Arte Nueva de escribir” – first volume published in 1616 – contains alphabets that have much in common with traditional broad nib Cancellaresca calligraphy, most of the examples therein are outgrowths of the new models put forward by the Italian master Gianfrancesco Cresci.
The writing’s swashes are complex and intricate, but at the same time they feature a profusion of defects. Many of them sometimes come close to ugliness. However, these pages contain an artistic essence that bears a relationship to the ironic and sometimes somber character of Spanish Baroque.

That’s why the name of the font pays homage to “Dulcinea del Toboso”, the fictional beauty from Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote, a work that reveals many of the period’s conflicts, such as the contrast between utopian ideals and reality, uncertainty and madness.
But Dulcinea is far from being just a revival. Its forms are not careful tracings of the outlines of Morante and Polanco’s letters, nor are they attempts to reproduce them digitally. In fact, the author of the letters says that had the font been created that way it would have been too archaic to serve as acceptable contemporary typography. However, he believes that there are myriad interesting details that can be rescued and preserved, along with the playful spirit of the original.

The work of designing Dulcinea consisted of combining original historical elements with the creativity and calligraphy of the font’s author in order to produce a modern typography that isn’t based on the same traditional sources as many recently created scripts fonts.
Dulcinea offers attractive options for the setting of texts and headlines: abundant ligatures and swashes along with intricate alternate characters. It sophisticated forms make it an ideal option for women’s magazines, recipe books, lingerie products or perfume packaging.

Dulcinea can be purchased at www.re-type.com

eliason's picture

Nice work! Good luck with it!

PabloImpallari's picture

Hi Ramiro, Awesome font! Great work as usual.

Just a little historic observation. When you say:
"It was Morante who first introduced and popularized the use of the pointed quill in Spain, and although his famous text entitled “Arte Nueva de escribir” – first volume published in 1616 – "

You may be overlooking the awesome work of Juan de Yciar (aka Joanes de Iciar), from Saragoza. He published "Arte Subtilissima por la cual se enseña a escribir perfectamente" in 1548 (8 editions from 1548 to 1566). It's a writing manual, similar to those of Arrighi, Tagliente and Palatino (In fact, Juan de Yciar analyze in depth all those three masters, quoting similarities and differences within each method, and stating his own preferences).

A limited edition (200 copies) facsimile of the 1550 edition was produced, reprinted from the original books in possession of Philip Hofer and Stanley Morrison. (I own one, and there are still a few available on Amazon). I also believe that JvK have studied this book, as I see some traits of Juan de Yciar "Letra Antigua spesVnica" and "Alphabetvm Latinorvm" in the first unrevised Lutetia (like the full-square proportions of the /E /F /L, the high crossbar of the /G, the high and to-the-right dot on the /i, the wide /o and narrow /n, maybe the structure of the /g). But of course, this can be just my erroneous impression, or simply a coincidence.. don't take my word very seriously.

If you read Spanish, you will also enjoy reading Castellano Antiguo.

Ramiro Espinoza's picture

Hi Pablo,
Thanks for the compliments. I know Yciar's work. In fact I have a facsimile of his book. But his work clearly follows the principles of Humanistic chancery and belong to the Renaissance. There are no traces of *pointed pen* in these pages but broad nib. What I said is Morante popularized Cresci's pointed pen style, a departure from the traditional chancery. I focused on Spanish Baroque calligraphy only.

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