A2-Type / Antwerp

Antwerp is a 16th-Century typeface with contemporary proportions. The design is a free spirited amalgamation and interpretation of the all inspiring archives of type on display in the Museum Plantin-Moretus in the Belgium city Antwerp — hence the font’s name. The typeface was developed as part of Kubel’s studies at the Expert class Type design 2010–11 at Plantin Institute of Typography.

Inspirational source materials from the Museum Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp

The concept behind the typeface was to create a contemporary family of text typefaces with historical references. The final design incorporates a large x-height and has a warm appearance on the printed page as well as on screen. The first drawings were done by hand on paper before it was developed into digital format, on screen in FontLab.

Early sketches for Antwerp

The family of typefaces evolved slowly overa period of ten months and is by the opening of this exhibition in its final stage of completion. Antwerp has been designed as an OpenType font and features many number styles including old style figures (non aligning numerals) plus a large set of ligatures and fractions.

My passion and admiration for 15 and 16th century Italian, French and Dutch typefaces might shine through in Antwerp — I acknowledge that it has become an integral part of my ‘type dna’ — It’s how I design letters, fonts, alphabets and it’s also a direct translation of how I draw type by hand on paper — in other words, I have been conditioned by history!

More early sketches for Antwerp

I set out to design a typeface with a solid range of weights giving designers and art directors maximum choice (Light, Regular, Medium, SemiBold & Bold + corresponding italic styles) when typesetting books, newspapers and magazines. The importance and focus on detail in the individual glyphs are intentional and something I have spent a long time crafting. Large punctuation, slightly inclined stems, old style serifs and pronounced ink traps are all part of the underlying structure of my final font. The relatively large x-height (it is argued that a large x-height aids legibility although no conclusive studies have been published on this subject) is a decision I made to bring my design more into the 21st century and essentially make fit with the current trends found in the design and advertising community.

I have tried to incorporate my love of handwriting and the flow of my own ‘shorthand’ into my Italic font(s). Normally an Italic typeface is between 7–15° slanted, my italic is 19° which is a feature I have been looking for when designing books and setting text myself. Since the introduction of digital type, italics have become less and less slanted and has in essence moved closer to the romans. From a technical and aesthetic point of view it’s understandable, however, in real life, when it comes to how type performs on the printed page and web as well; I call for italics with more contrast! After all since the 16th century Italic typefaces are used to high light words and sentences in text — this is what my typeface does as well as of course keeping the proportions and overall structure of the roman.

Type course, Antwerp, Plantin-Moretus Museum, Typeface in progress, 2011

Antwerp is in essence the culmination of all my scribbles, thoughts and research done over a period of many years — I acknowledge that it would not have been conceived had I not joined the Expert class Type design course under the guidance of Frank E. Blokland.

Antwerp Styles

Antwerp has five feature-rich Roman & Italic weights with swash alternates, sophisticated 19° Italic styles, and it supports extended Latin-A language settings (Eastern European).

Version history

V1.0—Initial release version; 2011.11


Standard licensing: OTF (CFF-flavored OpenType)
Web font licensing: WOFF & EOT
Dynamic embedding licensing: OTF (CFF-flavored OpenType)
Other formats available upon request.

Typer / Antwerp

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