Sunday, August 19, 2007

Practical application of the fonts (3)

The style of the Amsterdam School (AS) originated in Amsterdam, but later on the architects went to the north of The Netherlands, especially the province of Groningen, to do some wonderful work. Not many people know this, and to promote the richness of the AS architecture in Groningen a new book has been written. The title is Versteende Welvaart (Petrified Prosperity in English) and it will be presented on September 7th. That is the day before the National Monument weekend, a rare occasion to visit buildings that are otherwise closed to the public.
Looking at the cover of the book, the lettering is instantly recognizable. The design was made by Koos Staal who works in Haren, to the south of the city of Groningen. (Province and Capital bear the same name). When I read the title and started thinking about a new blog entry it struck me that the title in English is very powerful. An alitteration with a strong metrum. Anyway, I dug up font Mokum Cohen Topline and made the following:


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Practical application of the fonts (2)


And yes, I use the fonts myself too. For instance on the new nameplate on our front door. The font is Mokum Cohen and the material is bronze colored stainless steel. The plate was made by workshop De Haan in Hilversum, a small engraving studio that likes to do work that is "out of the ordinary". Like using fonts that are not run-of-the-mill.


It proved very difficult, though, to get the whole thing to work. The main problem is, that the engraving machine (it looks like a plotter and has a fast rotating tip that cuts away the material) is being driven by a PC running under Windows 98. Unfortunately there are no drivers for this kind of hardware under newer versions of Windows. Could be a nice challenge for the software community, wouldn't you think?

Anyway, the whole process had to revolve around Windows 98. I brought the design and the .ttf-file on a memory stick, only to discover that a PC under 98 is not capable of reading a USB stick. You can, however, download a utility to make that possible but the owner of the negravingshop decided she did not want internet on the PC that is used to drive her business hardware. One virus-infection was enough to get to that decision. Luckily the font is small enough to fit on a floppy disk (yes, I do have them) which could be read without any problems. A couple of days later the small plate was ready, just in time for our new front door.


People interested in the possibilities of engraving could contact Graveeratelier De Haan. They can be found on the internet, or you could give them a call +31.35.624.50.78.