Pennenstreken (writing method)


Around 1995 the Dutch Type Library adapted and digitized the Pennenstreken (‘Pen-strokes’) fonts for a writing method for primary schools from the Dutch publisher Zwijsen. Until that moment the examples in the exercise books were written by hand and inconsistencies in the writing method were relatively easy circumvented by the calligraphers. In the digital versions these inconsistencies had to corrected as much as possible, this way reducing the amount of ad hoc variants.

The artwork was basically formed by scans from earlier handwritten editions of the method. These were enlarged, if necessary corrected with ink and white paint, and manually digitized in the IKARUS format. The method was complex with initial, medial and final variants of the letters. This was in the pre-OpenType era, and PostScript Type1 nor TrueType made use of OpenType Layout features, of course. And there were different versions for text and display. So, the resulting number of fonts was impressive, the accompanying manual proportionally complex.

Only occasionally the Dutch Type Library works for third parties. Basically this is only done when the offered work is considered interesting and challenging. This project was both.

via Fonts In Use: Staff Picks