Sans Serious I

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by afrojet
Cloned from Sans Serious II by afrojet, Sans Serious III by afrojet. See also Sans Serious V by afrojet.

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The ‘Sans Serious’ Series is a group of tribute typefaces meant to honor Dutch designer and typographer Jurriaan Schrofer.

Along with Wim Crouwel and Josef Albers, Jurrian Schrofer (1926 - 1990) was among the Bauhaus pioneers of grid-based modular typography and design.

Schrofer's work experimented with type, light, and color and focused on mathematical shapes and pattern.

From the book ‘Dutch Type’ by Jan Middendorp:

Schrofer made several attempts to create complete typefaces - one of which was wittily called Sans serious - but this was never his goal. ‘Is it necessary’, he wrote, ‘to make complete alphabets with upper- and lowercase, figures, diacritics and seriously adorned with a name, when the aim is merely a formal investigation into basic recipes’ Schrofer's domain was never the design of typographic alphabets, to be used by other designers, but always the creation of letterforms ‘made to measure’ as part of his own designs of - mainly - book covers and postage stamps. He created a rectangular alphabet as the basic element of his ever-changing covers - each based of the same grid but colored differently - for a series of scientific books, ‘Les textes sociologiques’ from Mouton Publishers. He made sophisticated pixel-based letters, all drawn by hand, and experimented with photographic screens as a means of distinguishing simplified letterforms from the background. He created logotypes built from custom-made letterforms, based on rectangular grids.

In his booklet ‘Letters op maat’ (‘Type made to measure’, 1987), Schrofer presented many of his experimental alphabets from the 1960s and '70s. The booklet was part of a series of goodwill publications edited by Wim Crouwel for Lecturis Printers, Eindhoven.

Read more from ‘Dutch Type’.

Image from Letters op matt.

More images of Jurriaan Schrofer's work on Flickr:

Schrofer in Total Design book.

Cover for European Journal of Social Psycology

Museumjournaal, design Jurriaan Schrofer

Die Internationale Avant-Garde

Jurriaan Schrofer - Fodor catalog

Note: for all fonts in the ‘Sans Serious’ Series, the alphabet is the same for upper and lowercase.

14 Comments

Comment by afrojet 26th october 2009
Wow! Thank you very much for this introduction. The font is beautiful. The demo pic is a wonderful piece of modern art, I would be happy to hang it above my bed (at Bag End). 10/10
Comment by Frodo7 26th october 2009
Great work and great sample. The story behind it is fun to read too.
Comment by aphoria 26th october 2009
sweet. you're amazing.
Comment by Sye Robertson (SimonRobertson) 27th october 2009
Great tribute, and even more great sample.
Comment by igorrossi 27th october 2009
excellent all the way around. well-executed set. great inspiration. cool background info. another genius sample. and you share your inspiration - i see one i might play with. thanks :)
Comment by funk_king 27th october 2009
Thanks all. I think Schrofer would have had a lot of fun with Fontstruct. I would really like to track down a copy of 'Letters op maat' - some terrific stuff to study there.

@frodo7: Do you think Middle-earth is ready for Modern Art? My sense is that you'd be thrown out of the Shire for hanging such a piece but my knowledge of these things is thin and limited to a couple Led Zeppelin lyrics from 'Ramble On'.
Comment by afrojet 27th october 2009
Very informative description, and great sample as usual!
Comment by Em42 27th october 2009
What a package - font, information and sample all terrific. Gets my 10 (shame it doesn't go up to 11).

Re modern art in Bag End ... young master Frodo was ever a forward looking young Hobbit :)

Comment by p2pnut 27th october 2009
What can I add? Great tribute, Awesome Sample, Nice Variations.
Once more, Afrojet, you have come up with something both interesting and inspiring.
Thanks for sharing the information on such a talented typographer. I believe it gives Funk_King a great excuse to not expand his FSions :D
Comment by cayo 31st october 2009
Congratulations! FontStruct Staff have deemed your FontStruction worthy of special mention. “Sans Serious I” is now a Top Pick.
Comment by gferreira_admin 2nd november 2009

BANEHGIFT

Comment by kamraaaan 14th december 2017

I hope this isn't too inappropriate to still mention it at this point in time, way past the publishing date for the related FontStruct series.

But I wonder if you are aware that the lettering you've chosen to revise isn't actually the Sans Serious typeface?

This is something I too have also only recently got to find out, and for all those years I've mistaken the exact same lettering for being the Sans Serious typeface. This simply due to poor cataloging, and incorrect web resources. But after several additional studies for my own Schrofer project I'm pretty confident to say that this isn't Sans Serious.
Still I do believe that the Sans Serious name as title for this FontStruct series is totally accpeptable, as it is still a great way to refer to much of Jurriaan Schrofer's typographic work, on top of that, the gross majority of people are probably under the same false assumption.

I will include a infograph with some additional info in the comment bellow.

Cheers

Comment by Sed4tives 2nd july 2023
Comment by Sed4tives 2nd july 2023

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