Whether you have a love for type, calligraphy, lettering or print you'll understand specimen (be it books or ephemera) are highly regarded (and prized) by our community. I frequently draw inspiration from my collection and find each example of each form can teach me something new about the mechanics, expressive potential, rhythm and fluency of type. How the bowl curves, where the shoulder narrows, how the weight is distributed, the proportion of black to white shape, how the stroke terminates, the subtlety of cupping and support to a serif... Each instance of a letterfrom created by each persons hand is unique and an education in itself.

Earlier this year Mathieu Lommen and Peter Verheul curated and published a portfolio of 47 broadside specimen sheets featuring lettering and writing from a number of luminary lettering artists, type designers, calligraphers and sign painters born/working and/or trained in the Netherlands.

Dutch Alphabets - New Examples of Writing & Lettering Compiled by Mathieu Lommen & Peter Verheul and published by De Buitenkant Publishers
Amsterdam 2016

Is offered in a collectors’ limited edition of only 175, with contributors’ copies separately reserved and numbered, Dutch Alphabets is printed offset on heavy acid-free paper in seven PMS colours and black. The broadsides and the introduction (by Mathieu Lommen) are housed in an beautiful and luxurious handmade cloth-covered portfolio with ties.

One of the artists featured is Australian born (and Dutch-educated) Dave Foster (also featured in volume 04 of TypographJournal) - Dave applied to the KABK program because he felt drawn to the aesthetic coming out of The Hague. He notes the rich typographic history was also a draw card. The Dutch schools (and their masterful teachers) honor that history but are very focused on hands-on learning. The curriculum teaches an appreciation of how forms need to change based on their intended use, whether it be the size or the medium, or the distance they’re being read from. A key understanding in learning to draw type. And one which informs Dave's approach to type design and lettering today.

The designers were asked to create ‘a newly written or drawn alphabet or partial alphabet’ or another new design; the invitation was open-ended. But designed to encourage the artists to honor the Dutch approach to letter making. Each artwork was produced in 2 and 3 colour plates from a selection six PMS colours and black.

The resulting document is produced to fine quality - and will be a treasured source of inspiration to all Type lovers worldwide. The portfolio is available direct from the publisher.

Other contributing artists include: Amsterdam Signpainters / Yomar Augusto / Jacques le Bailly / Donald Beekman / Françoise Berserik / Barbara Bigosińska / Frank E. Blokland / Erik van Blokland / Maria Doreuli / James Edmondson / Ramiro Espinoza / Martina Flor / Fritz Grögel / Janno Hahn / Hansje van Halem / Berton Hasebe / Henry van der Horst / Ondrej Jób / Max Kisman / René Knip / Holger Königsdörfer / Paul van der Laan / Lida Lopes Cardozo / Niels Shoe Meulman / Ross Milne / Gerrit Noordzij / Diana Ovezea / Krista Radoeva / Trine Rask / Arthur Reinders Folmer / Donald Roos / Pieter van Rosmalen / Just van Rossum / Kristyan Sarkis / Florian Schick / Elmo van Slingerland / Heidi Sørensen / Nina Stössinger / Joost Swarte / Teo Tuominen / Underware / Gerard Unger / Peter Verheul / Bernd Volmer / Job Wouters