STF_VAN NELLE (Blueprint)

by Sed4tives

Download disabled

The designer of this FontStruction has chosen not to make it available for download from this website by choosing an “All Rights Reserved" license.

Please respect their decision and desist from requesting license changes in the comments.

If you would like to use the FontStruction for a specific project, you may be able to contact the designer directly about obtaining a license.

VAN NELLE (Blueprint) — Geometric modernist sans

A re-interpretation of the 1926 geometric sans serif alphabet system reproduction by Jacob Jongert, published in a 1930 sourcebook by N.J. van de Vecht. The geometric uppercase set of the alphabet system is what would later become the famous sans serif capitals which he used for lettering throughout many of his Van Nelle materials.

Attempt at making a convincing recap of the original alphabet by Jacob Jongert as it was shown in the 1930s sourcebook, and extrapolate that into a full functional font. The decision to go with a small grid sparked a number of limitations in terms of the design freedom that forced some inevitable changes. But the general idea sort of became not to make it a revival, but rather more or less a faithful revision. One that would still be instantly recognizable yet didn't necessarily had to be all about accuracy.

☛ —The small grid design made sure this wasn't happening anyway!

But, for instance, the most striking difference between the two fonts (their weight) in fact is such a byproduct for one of those limitations. Something FS's small grid couldn't properly reproduce, so VAN NELLE (Blueprint) has a slight stronger weight, making the font somewhat of a bold style version of the original. This in addition provided me with slight extra freedom to inplement a little personal touch for further manicure of the font's finer details. Which allowed me to cope with some of the optical clunkiness that come with a fatter face and the grid based design.

Besides these circumstantial differences, which were basically beyond my control, I've also made some intentional changes to make the typeface more practical to use. The changes include things like the significantly lowered ascender height, the slight different width for certain letters, larger tittle (dot above i, j & ij), and several more. despite these changes I believe it very much still reflects what Jongerts once invisioned for the system.

Jacob Jongert (1883-1942) was a advertising designer from the Netherlands. After varied studies, including being Roland Holst’s assistant and an acquaintance and colleague of S. H. de Roos [who brought the Arts & Crafts ideas of William Morris to the Netherlands and devoted his career to book design and typography] with whom Jongert experimented with several printing techniques and discovered graphic design as his ideal art form.
¶ In 1923 Jongert rolled in a unique and long-term collaboration with the Van Nelle company, where he became head designer, a position he held until 1940. The Van Nelle company had an extremely modern approach towards advertising (they even commissioned Cassandre to do a poster) and Jongert created for the firm a recognizable image with clear shapes, powerful letters and primary colours, totally Dutch avant-garde in style, and with a strict and rigorous approach directly linked to De Stijl principles. The corporate identity he created has become a milestone in the design world.
¶ The lettering, however, is the driving force that ties it all together. The style is a straightforward set of plain, mono-linear, sans serif capitals in a style that just started to come into fashion in the late 1920s, early 1930s with the rise of functionalism and geometric type design. Yet, while these ideas were already thrown out there, its clever simplicity plus the systematic and cohesive way Jongert implemented his lettering was unusual at the time. The square and minimal construction of the forms allowed the letters to contract and expand to fit any situation, yet maintain a consistent and recognizable appearance throughout the Van Nelle line. ¶ Something we only recently have learned to appreciate is to see his hand crafted system amid the current advancements in variable-font technology, which offers a similar kind of flexibility to typeface designs. A quality that certainly placed him well ahead of its time.

What I particulary like about Jongert's original is the stuff that is going on in the lowercase set of the alphabet, which are those quirky lowercase letter inventions that are different from the more traditional modernist sans, but sadly the lowercase letters were pretty much never used in his works.

I created a simple PDF typeface specimen for those who want to see the high-resolution preview.


​​Thats all Folks

☛ Cheers


Comment by Sed4tives 11th july 2023
Comment by Sed4tives 11th july 2023
Comment by Sed4tives 11th july 2023
Comment by Sed4tives 11th july 2023
Comment by Sed4tives 11th july 2023

I honestly admire this effort of yours in bringing these beautiful, forgotten fonts to life. Thanks again, compañero!

Comment by elmoyenique 11th july 2023

@elmoyenique: Thanks for your appreciation compañero!

Digitizing the obscure type relics from the past is one of those things I really enjoy doing. Something I value for numerous reasons. The neverending informative hunt and additional research is often remarkably helpful and more than welcome new knowledge. But also from a historic stand I believe it's valuable and worthwhile.

Comment by Sed4tives 11th july 2023

Beautiful work again, @Sed4tives; many hours of hard work I'm sure. And your detailed samples are excellent as usual.

Comment by four 12th july 2023
Congratulations! FontStruct Staff have deemed your FontStruction worthy of special mention. “STF_VAN NELLE (Blueprint)” is now a Top Pick.
Comment by Rob Meek (meek) 13th july 2023

Congrats, amigo!

Comment by elmoyenique 13th july 2023

Very cool looking

My only complaint is the lowercase g looks too much like a q

Comment by JOEY_TOYS_ 14th july 2023

There is an alternative form for lowercase g in the full width block.

Comment by Sed4tives 14th july 2023

I wonder if there could be alternates for the g and y that have the bottom right curved?

Comment by Bryndan W. Meyerholt (BWM) 14th july 2023

@BWM: Of course that would work, and for many fonts I would've probably done so, but I think that will take away some of the novel charm this typeface has so I'm not gonna add those, thanks for the suggestion nonetheless. Altho, I think in a line of text there is very little chance of actually confusion to be honest.

Comment by Sed4tives 14th july 2023

@SUMMER70Ifonts: Sorry, license is set to all rights reserved, so cloning is turned off.

Comment by Sed4tives 21st july 2023

@SUMMER70Ifonts: No Cyrillic planned, maybe at a later stage after I've wrapped up some other pending works I got going. Thanks for the suggestion nonetheless.


Comment by Sed4tives 22nd july 2023

lowercase g looks wrong

Comment by Pszczół 22nd july 2023

@Pszczół: Please read the description and additional discussion before blindly posting comments.

Don't you think its kind of nonsense and foolish-looking when 'plebs' like yourselve just brainless pushing their tongues, not even taking a proper look at the content or subject you're commenting to! For example to verify if the Scheiße you say is even remotely relevant? The issue people might have with lowercase g had been discussed already. So if you're interrested I'd say knock urself out and atleast take the time to read the info and additional discussion, it all has long been explained above as to how and why that specific lowercase g.

Bellow are a couple if hints (since I doubt ur bright enough to find out on your own)
a.) "Revival"
(Changing the original's form the font would no longer classify as revival,ain't it? Mheeeh.. Yup, I know, crazy right? Dat fried your braincells, innit?)
b.) "Quirky novel nature of the character set"
(No I'm not talking about shady types that wander the forest)
c.) "Glyph alternative forms"
(And yes, this neither is refering to excentric kraut rock musicians)

See? not that hard to find related information in regard to your outstanding resourcefulness on display above. Guess ur simply not the supportive/caring type of person that takes time to share a decent interrest and get proper educated on a specific matter. 👏👏 👌

Cheers nontheless I think..

Comment by Sed4tives 23rd july 2023

@SUMMER70Ifonts: I will make a one time exception in regard to the font lisence since you were so polite to remove my personal tag prefix from your fontstruction earlier. I changed to license so that the font is downloadable, but I suggest u be quick to grab it, as it most certainly will soon be put back to all rights reserved again. Enjoy!

Comment by Sed4tives 23rd july 2023

heh, i'm working on a font called "Fabriekish Sans", the full version of the STF_VAN NELLE (Blueprint) font.

Comment by Commenter/Cloner 6th august 2023

@Commenter/Cloner: Well, Cool I guess, got something ready for a sneak preview yet?

Comment by Sed4tives 6th august 2023

can i borrow the uppercase O?

Comment by Commenter/Cloner 14th august 2023

@Commenter/Cloner: STF_CURVE  TOOL (Small Grid)

Happy borrowing...

Comment by Sed4tives 14th august 2023

fabriekish sans will contain 500 glyphs, which adds Latin accented letters, such as: Latin-1 Supplement, Latin Extended-A, and IPA extensions.

Comment by Commenter/Cloner 16th august 2023

Stop advertising yourself here please, publish or be quite, this is annoying 

Comment by Sed4tives 16th august 2023

dude, i'm not advertising myself. but i'm ready to download and cloning, eh.

Comment by Commenter/Cloner 17th august 2023

make sure to comment here.

Comment by Commenter/Cloner 17th august 2023

But Im not going to make it clonable!

Comment by Sed4tives 17th august 2023

ugh fine, why is the lowercase ẞ look like this dinguishes fʒ.

Comment by Commenter/Cloner 17th august 2023


Comment by Sed4tives 17th august 2023

Guys stop requesting editor rights for the PDF specimen please, its very annoying and I don't see why anyone would need to edit the PDF anyway! Thanks.

Comment by Sed4tives 29th august 2023

@Sed4tives - How can they pass your work off as their own if you don't allow PDF editting?  C'mon, man!  ;^)

Comment by Goatmeal 30th august 2023

Deleted the PDF specimen, all it did was creating a way for annoying horny pricks to be able to spam my email with porn.

Well done internet! 🤘

Comment by Sed4tives 4th october 2023

I wonder if there is a way to share PDFs without revealing your address? If you do encounter such emails that did not get sent to spam, you can report the emails as such.

Comment by Bryndan W. Meyerholt (BWM) 5th october 2023

Yup, thats what I basically did. And to prvent this from happening again I probably shouldn't directly share the PDF from google drive.

Comment by Sed4tives 5th october 2023

good font

Comment by SUMMER701 Fri, 26th january

Awesome font! I'm curious - how did you get the long curve on the lowercase m and w? The curves seem longer than one block, and I haven't been able to get something like that to work.

Comment by Captain Orange Juice Tue, 16th april

Also of Interest


Get the world’s leading font editor for OSX.

More from the Gallery

STF_DOBINI BALWAUM (Inline)by Sed4tives
STF_LIQUID DISCO  (Solid)by Sed4tives
Dawn Chorusby four
STF_DOBINI BALWAUM (Inline)by Sed4tives
Avensys Inlineby Frodo7

From the Blog


The Numbers Competition


16 Years of FontStruct


Gridfolk: Interview with Zephram