|Designer(s)||Sjoerd Henrik de Roos
Dick Dooijes (nl)
Nobel is a geometric sans-serif typeface designed by Sjoerd Henrik de Roos (1877–1962) and Dick Dooijes (nl) (1909–1998) in the period 1929–1935 for the Amsterdam Type foundry). Capitalizing upon Lettergieterij Amsterdam's substantial financial interest in the Berlin typefoundry H. Berthold AG, de Roos conceived of a revival of Berthold Grotesk. Begun just two years after the release of Futura, Nobel is a similar exploration of geometric form but allows far more biomorphic shapes and variation.
In its light-weight version, Nobel shares considerable similarities with the purity of Futura, yet in the text and bold weights idiosynchronies emerge, revealing a less strident structure. The a is double-storyed, the g has an open tail, and the t has a distinctive curved terminal.
Neither de Roos or Dooijes considered Nobel to be a great achievement, yet it became one of the best selling sans-serif types of the Lettgieterij Amsterdam, continuing in popularity into the mid-1960s. Some post-war functionalists including Wim Crouwel ridiculed Nobel, describing it as parody of the nineteenth century grotesques.
Andrea Fuchs and Fred Smeijers of the Dutch Type Library (DTL) produced a revival in 1993. In the same year in the United States, Tobias Frere-Jones, then at Font Bureau, began a revival of the Nobel face. Cyrus Highsmith and Dyana Weissman later added the light weights.
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- Jaspert, Berry and Johnson. Encyclopaedia of Type Faces. Cassell Paperback, London; 2001. ISBN 1-84188-139-2
- Macmillan, Neil. An A–Z of Type Designers. Yale University Press: 2006. ISBN 0-300-11151-7.
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