Alphabet in Stone

While researching a potential trip to finally visit van der Laan and Schwarz churches, I discovered that the Dutch design firm Autobahn digitized Dom Hans van der Laan's typeface he created for the stone carvers at his abbey. Their site includes this video summarizing the work that also includes a nicely simple description of why van der Laan developed the plastic number.

This is all kinds of exciting.

Autobahn is a fascinating studio doing very good work. I first discovered them through their series of "fresh fonts" created by tracing Helvetica with ketchup (Tomatica), hair gel (Gelvetica), and toothpaste (Heldentica). Their work utilizes the digital and the real each to its fullness and in excellent harmony.

Which helps calm an an initial reaction wondering if is it wrong or out of character to digitize at all. The font is done as an instance of the face, which still exists primarily in the various instances in stone. We need to come to terms with the digital not as its own separate and self-serving entity, and this type of work is a perfect example of achieving this.