Jan van Krimpen Cancelleresca Bastarda Revival in Progress (JvK Original Drawings added)

PabloImpallari's picture

We are working on a Jan van Krimpen Cancelleresca Bastarda Revival, together with Rodrigo Fuenzalida. And we are doing it 'In the open', posting all the betas as we make progress, and encouraging public participation and feedback.

I started this back in November 2011, and then put it to sleep because of the lack of high quality sources.

But something awesome happened:
A very generous and humble Benedictine monk, that have the original metal cut, printed a specimen just for us and sent a high-quality scan. And we like to share it with the world.

Now the project is back to life! We are currently on Beta21.
And, as usual, it will be released under the SIL Open font license.

There is a little system in place, for easy sharing of comments and source files.
Here you will find the latest betas and source files (and the high-res scanned specimen):
http://www.impallari.com/projects/overview/jan-van-krimpen-cancelleresca...

We will like to invite everyone to check it out, and participate!
You can make any edit to the sources you see fit, and post it back in the project comments.

Beta21 Preview (Basic a-z A-z):

PabloImpallari's picture

Hi Hrant,
Besides the discussion on Public Domain issue, I would also be really interested to know your opinion on how the revival is coming out, and what can be improved.

hrant's picture

You know I like giving my opinion, but since CB is a
highly calligraphic design I don't feel too qualified
to offer good critiques.

hhp

Jens Kutilek's picture

I have to say the so-called high-res scan looks pretty low-res to me. If you are working based on that, you are either very experienced or very brave ;)

PabloImpallari's picture

Hi Jens, thanks!

Those and the Kris's flickr photo were the best we could get.
We will love to have access to even better sources, like photos of the metal punches or original drawings, but sadly we don't so we have to guess a lot of the details.

It's not just me. Rodrigo is also doing a lot of work.
He does the first round during the day and I iterate and refine during the night, and we chat over Skpye to discuss ideas.

I'm also studying "Three Classic of Italian Calligraphy" by Oscar Ogg (facsimile reproductions of Arrighi, Tagliente and Palatino), and "Penmanship of the XVI, XVII & XVIIIth centuries" witch can be read online here: http://www.archive.org/stream/penmanshipofxvix00dayluoft#page/n7/mode/2up

Also, playing and writing with a variety of nib pens to try to get a better sense of the flow and the contrast.

We sincerely hope that this can be good revival, and we are putting all our effort to make it as good as possible. But we can't do it alone, we need all the help and feedback from everyone. That's the only way we can improve it.

We also have the previous digital CB revival by Richard Beatty, called Romus (the entire romus family) but it's not of any help, because it lacks all the details we are trying to include in our version, and it's also pretty different from the specimens. In fact, one of the reasons for doing this new revival, was that I was not happy with the one from Richard.

We still have a lot to improve (the spacing in particular) but we are making progress every day.

William Berkson's picture

The book of John Dreyfus on Van Krimpen should be available in any good University library. It has pretty extensive examples of the fonts, if I remember rightly. It is also an absolutely gorgeous book.

I don't know about the rights and wrongs of this effort, though.

PabloImpallari's picture

Thanks William, that book is hard to find in Argentina. Will try luck at amazon.

hrant's picture

> We will love to have access to even better sources

What about your monk?
Although it's possible his type is too worn.

hhp

PabloImpallari's picture

I asked, but photos from the punches where not available to him.

hrant's picture

Not the punches, the sorts. Or even hi-res (at least 2400dpi)
scans of nice kiss-impression prints. Actually, for scanning
metal type you need what I call Platonic-kiss-impression prints,
where the bodies of the letters aren't even solid - all you want
is the outlines. :-)

hhp

PabloImpallari's picture

He gave us the best he had available, and we are grateful.
If someone can share something even better, that will be like day dreaming!

PabloImpallari's picture

Someone would like to help us with the spacing?
I feel that this is our weakest area.

William Berkson's picture

The easiest way work on the spacing is to match what Van Krimpen did. Type right over your scans of samples, then adjust your spacing to match what Van Krimpen and his people did.

hrant's picture

Exactly what was the best available?
Can he be convinced to provide something better?

If you have enough sample settings you can reverse-
engineer the original spacing. However the process
William describes seems too iterative; I'd use math,
and start with an "nn" you might hopefully find.

But that's assuming you like the original's spacing...
A revival can be faithful in various flavors; since CR
was a metal type, adhering to the original spacing can
potentially be seen as a bit too faithful. You might study
JFP's revival of Sabon (they once produced a highly
revealing booklet about it) to see ways of figuring out
what compromises were originally made and why, in
order to decide what original decisions to over-ride.

hhp

hrant's picture

Pablo, I just found an old thread that's probably worth your
time reading in its entirety: http://typophile.com/node/28266

hhp

PabloImpallari's picture

A book printed in CB, just arrived!

This will be very useful for improving our revival.
We really want it to be as good as possible.

PabloImpallari's picture

It is so delicate that I don't dare to smash it on the scanner, so only scanned this one page at the momment. Enjoy!

Also purchased "Ten Simple Rules for the Spiritual Life"


Believe me, the scanner does not do justice to the beauty of these books. Not even to the brightness and texture of the paper (that can be better appreciated in the first photo on the previous post).

Both were masterfully printed at the Stanbrook Abbey Press.
I'm very happy to see how this beauty was used in real life (Instead of simple specimens). Now we can also study how the spacing works, and keep improving the revival.

PabloImpallari's picture

Mathieu Lommen (Curator of Graphic Design at the at the Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam) got in touch with us, and sent scans of the Original Drawings, from the Jan van Krimpen Archive, Special Collections, University of Amsterdam.

More scans and the full story at:
http://www.impallari.com/projects/update/40


William Berkson's picture

Wow, wonderful!

hrant's picture

Nice coup!

hhp

Alter Littera's picture

Absolutely delicate and wonderful. I am just a newcomer to type design, but I know quite right what I like. Congratulations.

.00's picture

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PabloImpallari's picture

Just a quick note to let you know that the color photocopies of the original drawings arrived by postal mail last week.
Thanks again Mathieu!

JanekZ's picture

I made some changes: lc sidebearings, Polish letters. BTW I think the font works at 18 pt and more. New sample:

ericjs's picture

The project link seems to be dead...alas! has this project been abandoned?

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