Jan van Krimpen

VARIATIONS ON FIRST PRINCIPLES OF TYPOGRAPHY

Greenboathouse Press, 2015

 

Designed and printed by Jason Dewinetz at Greenboathouse Press.

Published in an edition of 50 copies.

 

As I expected, Variations easily merits an appearance here. After waiting what seems an age for it to finally see the light of day, (2014 on title page, actually published late 2015) I am, for want of a better phrase, pleased as punch to now have a copy. As it is all-but identical in design and appearance to the earlier Greenboathouse Press publication of Stanley Morison’s First Principles of Typography, my comments regarding the design for that edition stand for this one too (see my ‘First Principles of Typography’ entry in Books of the Moment). This companion volume is additionally impressive due to the particulars of the typeface. As with First Principles, Variations is set for the most part in Dewinetz’s digital version of Van Krimpen’s Romanée, but this time round it’s a completely new version based on Van Krimpen’s original drawings rather than printed samples of the metal type. The differences are subtle, but they are there, with the most obvious being the lower bowl of the lower-case roman g. It seems Dewinetz is relentless in his pursuit of having all things Romanée at his disposal. I can’t say I blame him.

The essay, which is the first English publication of Van Krimpen’s response to Morison’s famous essay is somewhat stiff’ as one expects from Van Krimpen. It does, however, seem to me rather less starchy than usual. Whether this is down to the translation by John Friedrichs, I can’t say, but it is certainly a better, much easier read than several other Van Krimpen essays I own and it is certainly an interesting and valuable addition to the small selection of texts by this most famous typographer and type designer.

 

 

 

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