Sold out/reprint: current situation


January 2014 update:

Instead of producing an updated edition of Dutch Type, I’ve worked on a number of books and other projects these past few years. Here’s a brief overview in reverse chronological order.

In January 2014 I did my first shootings for what will hopefully become a series of short videos on type and lettering. The footage of a workshop by calligrapher Barbara Calzolari, organized by my friends at Make! Skilled Hands, still has to be edited; I'll try to think of posting something on this page when it’s online. I've edited video before, but this is a new beginning with new software — a steep learning curve.

Throughout 2013 I have been working on various projects for MyFonts. This includes the ongoing series of monthly interviews with type designers, Creative Characters, of which I've just completed the 77th issue. It also includes the coordination of a new thing called Foundry Review Board, a group of specialists who assess the quality and originality of fonts offered on MyFonts. It's a lot of work so there has been very little time to think of books to write or edit. I did contribute to one book from Gestalten in Berlin: during the summer months, I did copy editing for the splendid Designing News by Francesco Franchi.

In the summer of 2012 I edited a new book for Gestalten, Hand to Type. The book covers a broad spectrum of work featuring contemporary script letterforms, from calligraphy and hand-lettering to digital script fonts. More about Hand to Type.

May 2012 saw the publication – finally – of Shaping Text (De vorm van tekst in the Dutch version), a book that took surprisingly long to make. Shaping Text is a beginners’ guide to type and typography meant for design students and professionals working with text and type. I’ve been working on it, on and off, since 2005. With the fast changes happening in the world of type and graphic design, the book’s content kept changing too, and its publishing date was postponed several times.
Shaping Text was well received, with a number of colleges planning to introduce the book as part of their curriclum. In 2012–2013 Florian Hardwig (who also contributed texts and ideas to the original edition) will be working on a German edition for Hermann Schmidt Mainz.

During 2011, I did two book projects for Gestalten. I conducted interviews and edited texts for a book called Precursor (edited by Adeline Mollard with Robert Klanten); I put together Type Navigator, a guide to independent type foundries, together with TwoPoints. Net in Barcelona. The idea for Type Navigator came from TwoPoints’ Lupi Asensio und Martin Lorenz, who are also the people behind the I Love Type series published by Viction:ary in Hong Kong. In late 2011 I wrote the introduction to their next book in the series, I Love Gill Sans.

In 2010 I worked on two new books. In October 2010, BIS Publishers in Amsterdam released Creative Characters, a collection of type designer interviews based on the monthly newsletters I have edited for MyFonts since 2007. Almost simultaneously, Gestalten published the first book I worked on with them, Playful Type 2. I co-edited this book about experimental typography and lettering and conducted interviews with Marian Bantjes, Jessica Hische, Alex Trochut, Underware and others.
I also translated Adrian Shaughnessy’s How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul, which BIS published in early 2011. I laid out and typeset my Dutch translation (within the original design by Bibliothèque) with the help of Catherine Dal in Ghent, Belgium.

In 2008–2009 I did not produce any new books of my own; instead I contributed to books edited by others. I have struck up a collaboration with the Bibliothèque Typographique curated by the energetic Sébastien Morlighem for Paris publisher Ypsilon; for them, I wrote the introduction to the wonderful book about type designer José Mendoza y Almeida, for which I also did translations and proofreading, and reviewed the French translation of Gerrit Noordzij's The stroke. I was lucky enough to be invited to be one of the 10 curators of Area 2 from Phaidon Publishers, a book that shows the work of 100 young and not-so-young graphic designers from around the world (of which I selected and interviewed 10). I also contributed an essay about Adrian Frutiger's Avenir to a book about Linotype's Platinum Collection, edited by John D. Berry. However Linotype, following their takeover by Monotype, never managed to publish the book.

Other things I do: In the magazine department, I irregularly contribute to Eye magazine and the Eye blog, and have contributed to many other magazines in the past. I have been an editor, writer and consultant to various type foundries and distributors, including FontShop, LucasFonts and Linotype.
my chief job in this business is as a writer and consultant to MyFonts, for whom I edit the monthly newsletters, and do writing and consultancy. With fellow Berlin type geeks Frank Rausch and Florian Hardwig I curate the German-language blog/site
I'm a guest teacher at Berlin's Weißensee School of Arts and Antwerp's Plantin Institute of Typography; and in recent years I've given lectures in Mexico (ATypI), Berlin (TypoBerlin), Istanbul (ISType 2012+2013), Breda, Netherlands (St. Joost college), Weimar (TypeCamp Bauhaus 2012), Lisbon (Jornadas Cantianas), Kiel (Dialog der Schrift), Sankt Gallen (Tÿpo/Forum Typografie 2011), Copenhagen (CPH:TYPO*2010), Amiens (ESAD), and Buffalo (TypeCon). home page (not much there)

See also (a very unfinished website). Report typos to jan [at]