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LUC DEVROYE


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Frank E. Blokland

Frank E. Blokland (b. 1959, Leiden) studied Graphic and Typographic design at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague. In 1985 Blokland won Chartpak's type design contest with his typeface Bernadette. In 1990 Blokland wrote a bestseller with his course book for Teleac's television course: Calligraphy, the art of hand writing, of which 16.000 copies were sold. In the same year Blokland founded the Dutch Type Library in 's Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Since the 1980s he has published over 150 articles in professional journals like Compres, Page, PrintBuyer, and the Hamburger Satzspiegel. When Gerrit Noordzij retired in 1987 from the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, Blokland was the first of the younger generation to succeed him. Blokland now lectures in letter drawing and type design/production to first- and post-graduate courses at this institute. In 1995 he was asked to become a lecturer at the Plantijn Gennootschap in Antwerp. A few years later he initiated and supervised the development of DTL FontMaster, a set of utilities for professional font production [in cooperation with URW++]. He is working towards a Ph.D. at the University of Leiden entitled Leiden University titled Harmonics, Patterns, and Dynamics in Formal Typographic Representations of the Latin Script. The regularization, standardization, systematization, and unitization of roman type since its Renaissance origin until the Romain du Roi.

In 2016, Frank E. Blokland obtained a Ph.D. at the University of Leiden for On the Origin of Patterning in Movable Latin Type. His typefaces:

  • DTL Documenta and Documenta Sans (1986). He writes: The idea was to develop a typeface that on the one hand would present a recognizable, contemporary, and powerful image, and on the other hand would work well in small text sizes, irrespective the applied resolution. The development of the first range of weights/styles of DTL Documenta took seven years. In 1993 the typeface became available in the PostScript Type1 and TrueType formats. Around 1997 a small range of sans-serf versions were added on request of the municipal museum in The Hague, especially for accompanying texts on the walls of the rooms of museum. Almost immediately after releasing dtl Documenta its quality was recognized. In the second edition of his international bestseller The Elements of Typographic Style, Robert Bringhurst calls DTL Documenta "a sturdy open text face with an equally unpretentious and well-made sanserif companion."
  • DTL Haarlemmer and DTL Haarlemmer Sans (1994-1996, an adaptation of Jan van Krimpen's Haarlemmer of 1940, and addition of a sans version, which was commissioned by the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam). He writes: The basis for the digital Haarlemmer was the set of Jan van Krimpen's original drawings of 1938. However, the quality of the original Haarlemmer was too poor for the purpose. Moreover, there was no reason to take the restrictions of the unit arrangement system on board. The original drawings were not directly digitized. First, they were interpreted, so that a typeface emerged that corresponded as much as possible with Jan van Krimpen's original concept. In fact, this procedure is comparable to the way in which Van Krimpen's foundry types were produced. Jan van Krimpen worked as a typographer and advisor with the Joh. Enschedé en Zonen at Haarlem from 1925 until his death in 1958. Most of his types were cut in steel by the Enschedé punch cutter P.H. ädisch (1891-1976). Under the auspices of Van Krimpen, Rädisch interpreted his drawings and made the required modifications for the different point-sizes. Van Krimpen's ink design obtained its definitive shape in Rädisch;s punches. Later, these punches served as the basis for Monotype. The original Haarlemmer drawings were similarly interpreted to cut digital punches. Alas, Van Krimpen's hand was no longer on the tiller, although a thorough study of his work by Frank E. Blokland made up for his absence.
  • DTL Fell. A Fell type revival. The Fell types are Dutch types from the late 17th century that were given to the University of Oxford by John Fell (1625-1686), bishop of Oxford from 1675-1686. In The Roman, Italic&Black Letter bequethed to the University of Oxford by Dr. John Fell (Oxford, 1951), Stanley Morrison states that the Roman may have been cut by Christoffel van Dijck. Specimen exist from 1693, 1695 and 1706.

At ATypI 2008 in St. Petersburg, he gave a series of lectures: Type tools by DTL, Automating font production, Automating type design, Integration of FontMaster in Linux and Mac OSX, and History of type. On that occasion, participants were presented with the booklet Comprehensive Notes on the Design of Cyrillic Letters by Finnish type designer Hanna Hakala and typeset in the preliminary version of DTL Valiance.

Speaker at ATypI 2011 in Reykjavik on the topic of parametrized type design, and in particular on the development of the DTL LetterModeller (LeMo) application, which is an attempt to come to such parameterization of type design. Speaker at ATypI 2018 in Antwerp.

FontShop link. Klingspor link.

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file name: Frank E Blokland D T L Haarlemmer 1994 after Jan Van Krimpen 1938


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file name: Frank E Blokland D T L Haarlemmer Sans Roman


file name: Frank E Blokland Haarlemmer Std Medium Monotype 1998 after Jan Van Krimpen Poster by Michael Sallit 2017


file name: Frank E Blokland Haarlemmer Std Medium Monotype 1998 after Jan Van Krimpen


file name: Frank E Blokland Haarlemmer Std Medium Italic Monotype 1998 after Jan Van Krimpen


file name: Peter Verheul Frank Blokland as students


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file name: Frank E Blokland Pic From James Bond Trailer 2013


file name: Frank E Blokland Pic From James Bond Trailer 2013b







Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html