Revivng a Slab Serif

kj's picture

Been trying to track down the roots of this typeface but no luck till now.
Its very similar to Clarendon but the ’g’ is not a double-storey ’g’.
The book was published by the society for good and cheap literature, Amsterdam in 1913.
About the life of the Lord Michael Duke L. Admiral General of Holland and west Friesland described by Gerard Brandt anthology with an introduction by Dr G. Kalff.

Any clue?

Stefan H's picture

Nice old printing is like candy to me. I really like this detailed picture. I wish I could help out with the actual typeface. Looks very Clarendon indeed, but slightly condensed. Since you know the date. I would recommend to try and go through type specimen from that period. I've searched through the ones I have at work, but I'll make a better try at home as well.

kentlew's picture

The original Clarendon design was fairly narrow, compared to what we're familiar with these days. This is very much in the original Clarendon style. It is also reminiscent of a few turn-of-the-20th-century Linotype "Antiques" -- maybe Antique No. 2 or No. 3. But the Big Red specimen doesn't have any showings of these early Antiques.

However, that 'g' is definitely unique and possibly an alternate.

You should look for a specimen from Tetterode or one of the other Dutch foundries from that period. The ij digraph pegs this as a language-specific font, so checking in the regional specimens would probably be most fruitful.

-- Kent.

Stefan H's picture

Kalff.

Now I've scanned all my type specimens without any precise hit. Still it's quite interesting about the different "g" etc. I'll have to make a bit of more research when I get more time. Good luck anyway.

Mark Simonson's picture

Egyptian 710 is close to this (except for the g).

kj's picture

Guys thanks a lot for your input and efforts.
Im reading some articles and texts about Clarendon and R. Besley I dono how close im getting. I will be visiting the Meermanno Museum on Friday next. Hoping to check some old specimens... Then the Amsterdam University Library Archives... so ill keep you guys updated...

Thanks again

K J

hrant's picture

Ah, a fellow Armenian!
Always a nice surprise (even though apparently you're not new here).

That "g" looks very German to me.

Kent, that "j" could simply be kerned. In fact that might be related to why the "g" is funny: the bicameral form tends to dig further right at the bottom. In fact the "g" is very loose on the right. On the other hand, the "gj" sequence is pretty rare... What does the lc "q" look like?

hhp

kentlew's picture

> Kent, that “j” could simply be kerned.

Sure, it could be. But I doubt it, since there are no other kerns evident in this font. Also, if it were a kerned sort, instead of an ij digraph sort, I still think it would be a language-specific offering. Even in metal fonts that regularly incorporated any kind of kerns, I don't think j was a regular candidate.

-- K.

hrant's picture

But look at the "lj" (2nd line, 4th word).

> I still think it would be a language-specific offering.

Do you mean there would be a non-Dutch "j" that's more timid?

hhp

kentlew's picture

Hmm. Okay, I missed that "galjoot." Perhaps you're right about the kern, then. Odd, however, that lj is not as tight as ij, even though the l and i look to have basically the same rsb.

Not more timid; just not bothered to be cast with a kern. For most languages, I don't think it would be important. But this is mere supposition on my part.

-- K.

hrant's picture

Actually, looking at the spacing difference, I suspect you're right. BTW Pascal (from Tetterode) had both a "j" (unkerned, actually) and an "ij", although in that case the latter's "j" had its curl projecting passively under the "i".

> just not bothered to be cast with a kern.

Indeed, kerns break often, causing expense. This being a sturdy font however might have been a good candidate. Plus if you had a non-kerned "j" (with such a strong terminal) the left sidebearing would be pretty large, making Dutch especially ragged. On the other hand, this is a rather loose (not to mention uneven*) font.

* Which makes me thing it wasn't by Tetterode, since that foundry was pretty quality-conscious AFAIK.

So: I think this font had both a kerned "j", and an "ij". And I suspect it wasn't Dutch, but imported, and while they were at it making an "ij" they added a custom (and rather poor) "g" as well. Seeing the lc "q" might still be revealing I think.

hhp

hrant's picture

> projecting passively

I meant massively.

hhp

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