Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Inspiration from Zuidlaren

Zuidlaren is a nice village in the woods just south of Groningen. Driving through the village my eye caught a glimpse of a truly impressive building. A little further down the road I saw the entrance:

The strongly kerned pair OO draws the attention immediately and the other characters are also promising. A new font is in the making. The genius behind all this was architect Egbert Reitsma, who drew the plans for this sanatorium around 1928. To get a better view of the letters, here is a compilation in close-up:

The text was made from forged iron or steel, using a continuous strip for each character. With the exception of the letter T, that was made by welding to pieces together. Whether this will survive in the ultimate font, I don't know yet. Have to do some testing, possibly altering the vertical position of the different elements.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A better look at Esserveld

I decided to go and see this cemetary myself. Pictures found on the internet are nice, but they do not show everything. So my wife and I went to Groningen (in the pouring rain) to take some new pictures of the entrance gate:

And guess what? The characters are truly 3D, with a rounded bevel and cutouts that look as if they were made by a chisel in stead of a saw. This means I will have to rethink the base of the font. In other words: back to the drawingboard.