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Haarlemmer is a recreation of a never-produced Jan Van Krimpen typeface that goes one step beyond authentic: it shows how he wanted it to be designed in the first place.
The original, drawn in the late 1930s, was created for the Dutch Society for the Art of Printing and Books and was to be used to set a new edition of the Bible, using Monotype typesetting. Hence the problem: fonts for metal typesetting machines like the Linotype and Monotype had to be created within a crude system of predetermined character width values. Every letter had to fit within and have its spacing determined by a grid of only 18 units. Often, the italic characters had to share the same widths as those in the roman design. Van Krimpen believed this severely impaired the design process.
The invasion of Holland in World War II halted all work on the Bible project, and the original Haarlemmer never went into production. Flash forward about sixty years.
Frank E. Blokland, of The Dutch Type Library, wanted to revive the original Haarlemmer, but this time as Van Krimpen would have intended. Blokland reinterpreted the original drawings and created a typeface that matched, as much as possible, Van Krimpen's initial concept. While Van Krimpen's hand could no longer be on the tiller, a thorough study of his work made up for his absence.
The result is an exceptional text family of three weights, with complementary italic designs and a full suite of small caps and old style figures. Van Krimpen would be proud.
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