Just van Rossum

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Just van Rossum (born 13 July 1966, in Haarlem)[1] is a Dutch typeface designer and computer programmer.

Typeface design[edit]

Just van Rossum collaborated with fellow Dutch typographer Erik van Blokland to fuse programming and letterform design in a hack to the PostScript programming language. The result was the FF Beowolf typeface, the first dynamically generated typeface, which modified letterforms on the fly. Using a randomizing algorithm to generate different letter forms each time a letter was printed. FF Beowolf laid the foundation for the FontFont library.[2]

Van Rossum’s FF Justlefthand was (as part of the FF Hands package) the first digital handwriting font ever, which caused in a global geographic extension of the type family. He also worked with Erik Spiekermann in developing the ITC Officina typeface, containing a sans and slab serif version.

List of faces designed by van Rossum[edit]

  • FF Advert
  • FF Beowolf (with Erik van Blokland)
  • LTR Bodoni (with Erik van Blokland)
  • FF Brokenscript
  • FF Double Digits (with Manfred Klein)
  • F Flixel
  • FF Instant Types (incl. FF Confidential, FF Dynamoe, FF Flightcase, FF Karton, FF Stamp Gothic)
  • FF Justlefthand (as part of FF Hands)
  • ITC Officina (with Erik Spiekermann)
  • FB Phaistos (with David Berlow)
  • FF Schulbuch
  • FF Schulschrift
  • FF Trixie (with Erik van Blokland)[citation needed]
  • F What You Think (with Erik van Blokland)

Programming achievements[edit]

Notable achievements of Just van Rossum include:

  • the IDE for MacPython, included in the standard Python distribution
  • being the designer of the "Python Powered" logo font used on Python websites around the Internet
  • creating the FontTools open source Python library for manipulating fonts
  • creating the TTX open source tool (based on FontTools) for converting OpenType and TrueType fonts from their native formats to XML, and back

Personal life[edit]

Just van Rossum is the brother of Guido van Rossum, creator of the Python computer programming language.


  1. ^ Just van Rossum at the Klingspor Museum website
  2. ^ "Just van Rossum at FontFont". Retrieved 8 October 2013. 

Dodd, Robin. From Gutenberg to Opentype. Hartley & Marks Publishers, Inc.: 2006. ISBN 0-88179-210-1.

External links[edit]