Dutch Standard Alphabets

Typographic Dutch cultural heritage

The street sign is a minimalist object in which many things come together: product design, graphic design, typography, language and type design. A new design was introduced in the Netherlands in the 1950s and 1960s. The typography for this, the Dutch Standard Alphabets, appears to be crafted by the acclaimed designers Jan van Krimpen and Sem Hartz. However, the origin of this typeface design is very poorly documented and receives little recognition. Ironically, the design is at once their most widespread and least known legacy from their oeuvres.

One of the Dutch Standard Alphabets in use.

Saving the Dutch Standard Alphabets’ origin and preserving its future usage

Meanwhile, the iconic design disappears rapidly from the streets. Therefore, this project aims to preserve this particular Dutch cultural heritage. Currently, options are being explored to record and publish about the typography its creation. Additionally, solutions are being explored to preserve and stimulate the use of the typography in the future. This phase is kindly supported by the Creative Industries Fund NL.

The project Dutch Standard Alphabets is supported by the Creative Industries Fund NL