Designed by Jan van Krimpen, 1928 and 1949.
Romanée is the first typeface I ever took notice of for being beautiful, and to this day it is still by far my favourite type design. I think the italic is practically unsurpassable in its beauty.
The roman was designed in 1928 to accompany a 17th century italic attributed to Van Dijck, although Jan van Krimpen was not satisfied with the combination of the two. Finally, in 1949 he designed a completely new italic to hopefully better suit his roman.
Romanée has no italic capitals. As the italic is near-upright in form, the roman capitals (and even the small capitals) are aptly suited for the job.
The specimen to the right is my own digital revival of Romanée, which I’ve been working on for personal use. Rather than waiting however long for the design to be made digitally available by someone else, I thought I’d have a go at doing it myself.
A couple of fine examples from the shelves:
• HOMER ‘THE ILIAD’ & ‘THE ODYSSEY’
Limited Editions Club, 1931.
Designed by Jan van Krimpen and printed at Joh. Enschedé en Zonen for the Limited Editions Club in an edition of 1,500 two-volume sets.
These two volumes are a master class in restrained, classical typography, and are surely among the finest examples of Romanée roman (the italic had yet to be designed) available.
• RAÏSSA MARITAIN ‘ARBRE PATRIARCHE / PATRIARCH TREE’
Stanbrook Abbey Press, 1965.
Designed, I assume, by Dame Hildelith Cumming. Printed by the nuns at Stanbrook Abbey in an edition of 550 copies.
This beautifully designed and immaculately printed book makes for an exquisite showcase of the Romanée typeface, particularly the italic which most of the volume is printed in.
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