Dutch Type Library

Try dtl’s New Exquisite Website


Detail from an Elzevir edition from 1662

        Details from a 1662 Elzevir edition

Elzevir’s publishers mark

Printer’s mark of Elzevir

The name ‘Elsevierstype’ or ‘Elzévirien’, with which every traditional typesetter and printer is undoubtedly familiar, dates from the end of the eighteenth century. This is used for typefaces that resemble the models successfully applied in the seventeenth century by the famous printing firm Elzevir in Leiden.
         The foundry types that made the compact typography possible in the Elzevir publications were in many cases cut by Christoffel van Dijck. This goldsmith, punchcutter and type founder was born around 1606 in Dexheim (Germany) and died in 1669 in Amsterdam, where he lived and worked from 1648. Van Dijck has the reputation of being the best punchcutter of his time.

Overview (detal) of DTL Elzevir Book

        Part of font overview of dtl Elzevir Book roman in dtl FoundryMaster

Not much more than the prints of his letters have survived from Van Dijck’s œuvre. Over the years, the punches, matrices, and foundry type of Van Dijck had come into the possession of the Enschedé printing firm in Haarlem through the acquisition of the inventories of various foundries. Partly due to the popularity of the fonts of Johann Michael Fleischmann, Van Dijck’s work went out of fashion in the second half of the eighteenth century. As a result, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, almost all the type material produced by Van Dijck disappeared into the melting pot, to be used as raw material for new types to be made.

Digitization of DTL Elzevir Bold /a

        Lowercase /a of dtl Elzevir Bold roman in the glyph editor of dtl FoundryMaster

In 1992 the Dutch Type Library commissioned type designer Gerard Daniëls to make a revival based on Van Dijck’s models. The starting point was to create an extensive digital type family, including multiple weights, ornaments, and swashes.
         Daniëls researched early printed books and based on various types attributed to Van Dijck he (re)constructed the digital revival The Augustijn Romeyn, which is depicted in the famous type specimen of the widow of Daniël Elsevier from 1681, was the model in particular for the roman of dtl Elzevir.

Overview (detal) of DTL Elzevir Ornaments

        Part of font overview of dtl Elzevir Ornaments in dtl FoundryMaster

Like Van Dijck’s original models, dtl Elzevir produces extremely compact and uniform typesetting and is therefore particularly suitable for refined book productions.

Spread from an Elzevir edition from 1662

                                                  Spread from an Elzevir edition from 1662


Search | Site index | Contact | Terms of use | Trademarks | Acknowledgements

Last update: 4 November 2023. Copyright © Dutch Type Library, 1998–2023. All rights reserved

dtl Headquarters | Zwaenenstede 49 | 5221 kc ’s-Hertogenbosch | The Netherlands
dtl Studio | Daliënwaerd 71 | 5221 ke ’s-Hertogenbosch | The Netherlands
phone: +31 (0)73 614 95 36 | fax: +31 (0)73 613 98 23 | e-mail: info@dutchtypelibrary.com