he Salden fonts are our tribute to the man who was dubbed the face of the Dutch book, and whose work is considered essential in 20th century Dutch design history. Helmut Salden’s exquisite book cover designs were the gold standard in the Netherlands for more than four decades. His influence over Dutch lettering artists and book designers ranges far and wide, and his work continues to be used commercially and exhibited to this very day.

At the root of Salden’s design work was a unique eye for counter space and incredible lettering skills that never failed to awe, regardless of category or genre. This made our attention to his lettering all the more focused within our appreciation of his overall aesthetic. Although Salden never finished a complete font for metal or photo typesetting (he drew sets of letters which he sometimes recycled and modified to fit various projects), the drawings and typographic materials in his archives certainly gave us enough forms to guide us, and enough variation in style to push our excitement even further. And so we contacted the right people, obtained access to the relevant material, and had a lot of fun from there.

This set covers the gamut of Salden’s lettering talents. Included are his famous caps, his untamed, chunky flare/sans serif in two widths, a unique Roman and an italic companion commissioned by the Dutch government that never went beyond ink drawings and, most recognizable of all, his one-of-a-kind scripty upright italic lowercase shapes, which he used alongside Roman caps drawn specifically for that kind of combination titling.

All the fonts in this set include Pan-European glyph sets. They’re also loaded with extras. Salden Roman (908 glyphs) and Salden Italic (976 glyphs) each come with built-in small caps (and caps-to-small-caps), quite a few ligatures, and two different sets of alternates. Salden Black and Salden Black Condensed (636 glyphs each) come with a set of alternates, and both lining and oldstyle figures. Salden Caps (597 glyphs) comes with a set of alternates, and Salden Titling (886 glyphs) comes with a quite a lot of swashed forms and alternates (including as many six variants for some forms), a few discretionary ligatures, and two sets of figures. There are also some form alternates for the Cyrillic and Greek sets included in all six fonts.

These alphabets were enjoyably studied and meticulously developed over the past ten years or so. We consider ourselves very fortunate to be the ones bringing them to the world as our contribution to maintaining the legacy of a legendary talent and a great designer. The majority of the work was based on Salden’s original drawings, access to which was graciously provided by Museum Meermanno in The Hague.

The Salden fonts were done in agreement with Stichting 1940–1945, the copyright holders of Helmut Salden’s work. The sale of these fonts will in part benefit Museum Meermanno.

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From $40 USD