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Drawings for DTL Albertina Medium Italic

       Design drawings
       for dtl Albertina
       Medium Italic

‘A brilliant calligrapher’ wrote John Dreyfus about Chris Brand (1921–1998) in the foreword to Letterontwerpers (Haarlem, 1987). Calligraphy played an important role in the history of dtl Albertina and is reflected in the details of the typeface. Albertina was originally created by The Monotype Corporation Ltd. in the late 1950s. It was put into production for the ‘hot-metal’ type-casting machine, but ultimately came onto the market for the Monophoto imager due to advancing technological developments.
         The typeface was named after the Royal Library in Brussels, whose full name is Royal Library Albert 1. The first use was in the catalog for the exhibition Stanley Morison and the Typographical Tradition at the Royal Library in 1966: Morison personally selected Albertina for this purpose. Brand was working in Belgium at the time and had free access to the collection of the Royal Library, for which he also carried out assignments.

Digitization of DTL Alberina

For the digital adaptation of Albertina by the Dutch Type Library, Monotype’s working drawings were compared with Brand’s original design drawings. It was decided to create new contours based on the design drawings. The refinements drawn by Brand could be maintained in the digital version in this way. After all, the version released for the Monophoto suffered from the limitations of the Monotype’s unit-arrangement system and other technical constraints related to the machine. There was no reason to include these limitations in the digital version.
         With the full support of both Brand and Monotype Typography, a new depiction of Albertina was created. The digital version has the elegant contrast and weight of the original drawings.

Font overview (detail) of DTL Albertina Book

In the ten years prior to digital production, Brand had drawn semi-bold (medium) variants of Albertina that had never before been put into production. Inspired by this, complete new semi-bold and bold variants have been created by the Dutch Type Library. It can be concluded that dtl Albertina has become an ideal versatile text typeface that works particularly efficiently.

Chris Brand

       Chris Brand

Book cover typeset in DTL Albertina

       dtl Albertina is
       frequently used in
       book productions

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Last update: 4 February 2024. Copyright © Dutch Type Library, 1998–2024. All rights reserved

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