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RE: [PPLetterpress] [thoughts on digital typefaces.]

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  • Ludwig M. Solzen
    ... Then my guess was not so bad? The Dwiggins hand/your font at first glance looks very similar to Dwiggins Winchester with its uncial alternatives, the
    Message 1 of 10 , Jun 15, 2006
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      >> The P22 Foundry division 'International House of Fonts' (IHOF)
      >> have a font called 'Dwiggins', which seems to be an uncial bastard
      >> inspired by, rather than designed by W.A. Dwiggins (1880-1956):
      >
      > Actually the font is a digitized version of calligraphy that Dwiggins
      > created for a small booklet that was included in Dolphin #2 (New York
      > Limited Editions Club 1935). It was never a typeface to begin with, but it
      > is true to Dwiggins's hand. It is rather quirky isn't it?

      Then my guess was not so bad? The Dwiggins hand/your font at first glance
      looks very similar to Dwiggins' Winchester with its uncial alternatives, the
      latter being more rendered as a traditional book letter and thus somewhat
      less 'quirky'. (Could the Winchester uncial have been drawn perchance
      somewhat after Dwiggins wrote his calligraphy for the Dolphin?)

      Likely, it's just a matter of personal taste--if typography and type design
      were allowed such an aesthetic liberty at all--but I don't like unicase
      fonts, and their going astray from canonised conventions of aesthetics and
      readability. In Dwiggins' case, though, it would be anachronistic to
      denounce the experiment as a unicase font, since it was conceived as an
      uncial revival--only the alternative version, that is.

      Uncials didn't have two different alphabets, and neither did Roman script
      from which it devolved; the combination of uppercase and lowercase in Latin
      script is an invention of the early 15th century, which has proved it's
      usefulness. Unicase scripts never could bear upon the historical existence
      of uncial script as a legitimisation, since the latter was a true one-case
      alphabet, whereas unicase experiments of contemporary designers (amongst
      whom Zuzanna Licko) are but an at random mixture of both alphabets. Uncial
      script is an intermediary phase in the evolution of Western script, standing
      in-between Latin monumental capitals and the lowercase forms of the
      Carolingian minuscula that are still in use. I don't believe we should
      emulate embryonic stages of our typographic history, having reached its full
      maturity already. This consideration, however, I grant, one might take for
      but a personal conviction.

      Thanks for your info on the origins of the P22 Dwiggins.

      Kindly yours,

      Ludwig
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