Jan van Krimpen
Major Dutch typographer and type designer, b. Gouda, 1892, d. Haarlem, 1958. He studied at the Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten in Den Haag (1908-1912) and joined Enschedé in 1925. He had a considerable influence on the next generation of type designers. His typefaces include:
- Cancellaresca Bastarda (1934-1935, Enschedé). 100 Types writes: Cancellaresca Bastarda is a graceful narrow italic with long descenders and ascenders, and a large array of character variations and swashes. The uppercase and lowercase alone ran to 167 characters including ligatures, anticipating large-family calligraphic fonts such as Poetica Chancery by at least 50 years. Jan van Krimpen's types have been called 'austerely beautiful' but are little known outside of his native Holland. The Enschedé Foundry for whom he worked in the mid 20th century still rigidly controls his types, and none of these have been cross licensed, redistributed or pirated. As a result, Cancellaresca Bastarda is one of the rarest typefaces.
- Haarlemmer (1938). Berry, Johnson and Jaspert write: Designed by Jan van Krimpen, and commissioned in 1938 by the Vereeniging voor Druk- en Boekkunst. This originally private type was intended for an edition of the Staten Bijbel to be printed in small folio format. The type has the qualities of an old face. The serifs on the capitals are thin; on the lower case they are stronger and not quite horizontal. The capitals are wide, especially the M. The g has a large bowl. The italic is slightly inclined and has angular beginning strokes; the g has a calligraphic tail; v and w have cursive forms. Two styles of figures are provided. Now digitized as DTL Haarlemmer and DTL Haarlemmer Sans (1994). Frank E. Blokland published it at Monotype in 1998, and later at his own type foundry, Dutch Type Library. This is a prototype example of a design that is totally destroyed by one glyph, the lower case g in the italics.
- Lutetia (Enschedé, 1924). Berry, Johnson and Jaspert write: The type shares some of the qualities which we have found in a number of contemporary types, small serifs and unobtrusive capitals. The capitals are wide, note especially E and F. U has the lower-case design. In the lower case the e has an oblique stroke to the eye, the g a large bowl, and the t is very short. The figures are old style. In the italic there is a swash series of capitals with prolonged strokes in A, K, M, N and R. The lower case, very slightly inclined, resembles Blado in the angularity of the begininng strokes, but the serifs on ascenders are flat. The g has a calligraphic form. It is an italic which, again like Blado, will stand on its own. The roman alphabet shown here is the first Lutetia of 1925 designed 1923-1924. With the co-operation of Jan van Krimpen an American printer, Porter Garnett, had it revised in 1928. The present Enschedé Lutetia is of the first form with the exception of the horizontal bar to the e. Monotype Lutetia was adapted by the designer to the Mono-unit system. Lutetia Open was cut about 1930 on the model of handtooled capitals which the designer had been using occasionally. Lutetia was digitally revived as Lutetia Nova Book in 2014 by Ralph M. Unger, and as Lutetia Open by ARTypes in 2007. For her type revival project at KABK, Barbara Bigosinska picked Lutetia (2013) and writes: Lutetia was designed as a commission from Enschedé by Jan van Krimpen. The drawings of the typeface were ready in the middle of 1924 and first cut and cast in 16 point size in the Enschedé Type Foundry. For the first time the typeface was used in the book dedicated to the exhibition that took place in Paris in 1925. Therefore the name Lutetia refers to the Roman name of Paris. Essay by Doyald Young on Van Krimpen and his Lutetia.
- Open Roman Capitals (or: Open Kapitalen, revived in 2006 by Ari Rafaeli; see also Open Capitals by ARTypes, 2007).
- Romanée (Enschedé, 1928). For a digital revival, interpretation and extension, we refer to Holger Koenigsdoerfer's Romanée (2017, unpublished).
- Romulus (Enschedé, 1931 for the Capitals and 1936 for the Open version). Romulus Kapitalen and Romulus Open were revived in 2006 by Ari Rafaeli. See also Romulus Capitals and Romulus Open in 2007 by ARTypes. Now digitized as DTL Romulus (2002).
- Curwen Initials, done in 1925 for The Curwen Press at Plaistow, London. Digitized by ARTypes as Curwen Initials (2008, Ari Rafaeli).
- Spectrum (Monotype, 1952--a very beautiful modern type family, legible, and flexible in all situations; part of the Linotype library). MyFonts writes: Spectrum is based on a design by Jan van Krimpen, who worked on his typeface from 1941 to 1943 for use in a Bible of the Spectrum publishing house in Utrecht. The bible project was later cancelled but the typeface was so beautifully formed and universal that the Monotype Corporation in London completed it.
- Van Dijck.
Van Krimpen had a difficult character. Lines&Splines wrote this: Alastair Johnston, from an issue of Ampersand, once posed the question, "Do you have to be an asshole to be a good type designer?" Gerard Unger replied to the effect that even to this day, people will look over their shoulders before discussing Van Krimpen. One can almost imagine Van Krimpen waving one of his sharp serifs over his head like a stick, flailing against the difficulties of his everyday relations, his nostrils flared as they were in every portrait taken of him. MyFonts page. CV at Linotype. FontShop link. Some of his work and correspondence can be found at the University of Amsterdam.
A list of typefaces based on Jan Van Krimpen's work: A
Author of On Designing and Devising Type (1957, New York: the Typophiles, & Heemstede).
Jan van Krimpen
Klingspor Museum page
Type designers ⦿
Type designers ⦿
Dutch type design ⦿
Ornamental caps typefaces ⦿
Avant Garde typefaces ⦿
Chancery hand, cancellaresca ⦿
Bastarda / Bâtarde / Schwabacher ⦿
Lapidary typefaces ⦿
Books on type design ⦿