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BATAVIER (Pro) — Geometric display sans
[ MEMOIR ]
Revision / revival of the geometric lettering seen on a 1916 Dutch litho poster for the Wm H. Müller & Co.'s Rotterdam-London passenger service called Batavier-Line (Batavier-Lijn in Dutch) which was originally designed by Bart van der Leck (1876 - 1958).
The Batavier Line existed from 1830-1960, and was the oldest steam shipping line in The Netherlands.
[ UPDATE INTEL ]
A couple of small changes were implemented compared to v/d Leck's original lettering. Most significant is the upscaled Ampersand, but numerous other small cosmetic or optimizing modifications were made as well.
I completed the full alphabet plus numerals and included additional symbols and punctuation marks to make it a fully functional typeface. The lettering is all caps (majescule) only. Some lowercase letter locations harbour a glyph alternate uppercase form as could be seen in the original litho poster source. Another bunch of alternate uppercase forms and underlined “superior” small capital letters were located in the “Halfwidth And Fullwidth Forms” Unicode block. In addition to that it has accented Latin letters for multilingual support. Also two resized alternate forms for the Ampersand and two stylish ligatures have been included.
[ SUMMARY ]
This is actually the second revision I did for the litho lettering by v/d Leck. The first attempt was made using a (faux-) Bézier approach, resulting in a huge grid canvas (168 grid units / bricks tall monstrosity). This made it a lot of hard work to build and for some letters impossible to properly implement kerning since FS values only allows min. -10 / max. 10 of grid units for kerning.
As part of the endeavor to refurbish some of my older FontStructions STF BATAVIER was one of those that was in serious need of some overhauling as well. The problem it presented was the font's cap-height. It was actually so tall and impractical to work and / or modify, that the first revival attempt never really fully materialized beyond a basic character set.
A full glyph only fitted on screen with the FS-editor zoomed-out max. and my browser zoomed-out at 30%. At this scale not only the canvas grid lines in FS's editor all but dissapeared, but it also resulted in a down-sized brick (or 1 square grid unit) with on-screen rendering at only 3×3 pixels, as oposed to 64×64 pixels with the FS-editor's default zoom settings.
So imagine selecting a tiny 3×3 px speck when working the glyph canvas at brick level to modify glyphs... pretty much impossible. Now, the other situation wasn't a whole lot better. This had the browser's zoom restored back to 100%, making the glyph canvas at brick level “workable” again. But in respect to the cap-height this only renders a very small section of the glyph on-screen. Requiring a huge deal of additional canvas navigation in FS's canvas editor, better known as “Pan the view (H)”, which is done with the hand tool.
And well, as many of you will know, this is an absolute bummer When navigating (or panning) a glyph bottom to top requires 3 full canvas swipes.
So yeah, the only way for an extended version ever to materialize was to be rebuild it from the ground up at a much small scale, using very different measurement ratios compatible with FontStruct's kerning.
[ TECH INTEL ]
This second revision attempt successfully reduced the font's cap-height down to a comfortable 5 bricks (or grid units) tall and Em-square of 7 bricks total. Some optical compensations were implemented to certain elements such as stroke weight corrections and careful minute differences in vertical positioning of letter mid-section elements.
For now thats all Folks..