TYPE FOUNDRIES IN THE NETHERLANDS FROM THE FIFTEENTH TO THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
Stichting Museum Enschedé, 1978
Designed by Bram de Does and printed by Joh. Enschedé en Zonen, Haarlem, Netherlands, for the Stichting Museum.
Published in an edition of 1,500 copies.
Type Foundries in The Netherlands... was originally in my Top Ten Books section, but got nudged out by a new entry. This truly stunning edition, which is probably the finest printed showing of historic Dutch letterforms available, still more than deserves inclusion on this site so I have placed it here instead.
This hefty tome – the last great book to be printed at Joh. Enschedé en Zonen – is a truly incredible piece of work that utterly gobsmacked me when I first saw a copy.
Designed by Bram de Does – one of the finest typographers and printers of his generation – this book is a visual feast for anyone with a penchant for typefaces. The whole volume was entirely hand set, with the main body text set in my favourite Romanée, and the remainder being showings of the vast holdings of historic typefaces owned and used by the Enchedé printing house over the centuries.
I expect that many of the typefaces shown, especially the older ones, have never received such care in their printing as they do on these pages. The sample settings, frequently an exact resetting of a page from an edition originally printed in the same typeface hundreds of years previous, are printed to the highest standard and reveal the types at their absolute best.
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