Ramiro has recently given a workshop introducing to copperplate calligraphy to the Amsterdam Sign Painters Guild. It was a great Saturday spent among home made walnut ink, oblique holders and vintage pointed nibs. Thanks to the ASG crew for the hospitality and the great company! (More pictures of the even can be seen at in Flickr’s account.)
Our typeface Laski Slab –designed by Paula Mastrangelo & Ramiro Espinoza – has been awarded with the highest prize of the Hiii Typography contest. Needless to say we feel deeply honored for receiving it. Thanks a lot to the jury and congratulations to the rest of the winers.
What are the origins of the exuberant swash letters that can be found on the windows of many of Amsterdam’s most traditional bars? Who painted them? Was it a collective creation, or the work of a lone gifted sign painter? How old is this style?
For almost a decade Ramiro Espinoza thoroughly researched the refined, swirling lettering style, examining every surviving example in Amsterdam, Maastricht and Ghent in an effort to answer these questions. He compiled his findings in De Amsterdamse Krulletter – The Curly Letter of Amsterdam, a comprehensive, lushly illustrated and beautifully produced (bilingual English–Dutch) book. With its publication Ramiro hopes to raise awareness for this little-known chapter of the Dutch graphical tradition, bringing it into the present and making the lettering style relevant again.
The text is by Ramiro Espinoza, with an introduction by Jan Middendorp. Photographer Rob Becker documented all the known existing windows in the three cities in beautiful black and white, in order to capture the ambience and context in which the curly script flourished. More than merely a visual essay on the Krulletter, Rob’s photos also constitute a true artistic homage to the Amsterdam ‘brown’ cafés.
Kerning fonts is a tiring activity that can put a big stress on your extremities. Following the advice given at Robothon conference by Andy Clymer, we are experimenting using MetricsMachine and an USB’s game pad with the help of the universal driver USB Overdrive. It works like a charm. We specially like to have a handy way to flip the selected pair when checking kerning symmetry. The next kerning work at Retype is much probably going to be performed with this method.
“De Amsterdamse Krulletter“, an exhaustive research about the Amsterdam’s Curly Letter by Ramiro Espinoza and Rob Becker will be published by Lecuris.nl in April/2015. Stay tuned for news about the book presentation. Click here for more information.
“De Amsterdamse Krulletter” can be purchased following this link
We have been experimenting with our friends of BunkerType with a wood type version of Kurversbrug, the revival of Amsterdam’s bridge letters. We chose a fragment of a famous poem by Jan Campert (“Een Amsterdamsch lied”) and with it a poster in the spirit of The Amsterdam School avant-garde was designed and printed. Stay tuned, the poster will be made available soon.