Release Year
Country of Origin
Serif, Old Style, Dutch Old Style
Original Format
1536, 16th century, joos, lambrecht, upright italic


Joos Lambrecht, from Ghent, is one of the first important printers and punchcutters of the sixteenth century. He criticized frankly the reading habits and the typographical preferences of the Dutch and Flemish readers at that time. Since 1530 he tried to promote the use of roman types to replace blackletter types, with little success.

Lambrecht published the first dictionary of the Dutch/Flemish languages, as well as a collection of “wise, crazy and amorous” poems, some of which were regarded as heretical ; eventually he fled to Germany because of his conversion to Protestantism. Lambrecht cut many roman types which he tried to distribute to other printers, but also a remarkable upright italic of which he was the only user.

It is this italic which inspired the Joos typeface. This work is not a formal revival of Lambrecht’s work, but faithfully fit into the scheme of its thought, which was to idealize roman types by bringing together the characteristic graceful shapes of italics and the angle of romans. Joos takes its inspiration in the principles of classical italics such as those of Francesco Griffo, but also from more contemporary shapes.

In order to make the character optically vertical, it was necessary to work on each character with a specific angle, which was defined notably by its structure and dimension. Capitals, in accordance with Lambrecht’s idea, all have a geometrical vertical stem, while the lowercases have an angle which vary between 0 and 2 degrees. The thick and thin low contrast strokes enable to set texts in small sizes. Joos offers a wide typographical range of use and flexibility :
ligatures, alternates, stylistic sets, OpenType functionalities, oldstyle figures, small caps, etc.
Fixed in a history, Joos is a contemporary typeface, from both a technical and aesthetic point of view.

Listing Info

matthijs sluiter’s avatar

Last edited by matthijs sluiter on June 12, 2012, 09:29am EST

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