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ITC Werkstatt is a result of the combined talents of Alphabet Soup's Paul Crome and Satwinder Sehmi, along with Ilene Strizver and Colin Brignall. It is inspired by the work of Rudolph Koch, the renowned German calligrapher, punchcutter, and type designer of the first third of this century, without being based directly on any of Koch's typefaces. Werkstatt has obvious affinities with the heavy, woodcut look of Koch's popular Neuland, but also with display faces like Wallau and even the light, delicate Koch Antiqua. Brignall began by drawing formal letters with a 55mm cap height, which Sehmi reinterpreted using a pen with a broad-edge nib. “Not an easy process,” says Brignall, “since one of the features of Koch's style is that while it was calligraphic in spirit, most of the time his counter shapes did not bear any resemblance to the external shapes, as they would in normal calligraphy. This meant that Sehmi could not complete a whole character in one go, but had to create the outside and inside shapes separately and then ink in the center of the letters.” The process was repeated, only without entirely filling in the outlines, for the Engraved version. Crome handled the scanning and digitization, maintaining the hand-made feel while creating usable digital outlines. “The collaboration of artisans with particular skills,” says Brignall, “in a modern-day, computer-aided studio environment, seems very much in step with the 'workshop' ethos that Rudolph Koch encouraged and promoted so much.”
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