Universiteit Leiden

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Alverata, a present-day, European typeface with roots in the middle ages

The subject of this thesis is Alverata, a twenty-first-century typeface whose design was inspired by the shapes of Romanesque capitals such as those found in inscriptions of the eleventh and twelfth centuries.

Gerard Unger
05 September 2013
Full text available in Leiden Repository

The thesis is in three parts. Part one documents the conditions under which Romanesque capitals developed and were used in inscriptions, and the characteristics left behind in them by stonemasons and their clients and masters, culminating in the concept underlying Romanesque capitals in inscriptions.

Part two treats of the precursors of  Alverata in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and from there moves on to discuss the present conditions for and ingredients of a type design and hence to the twenty-first-century concept. Part three describes the synthesis of the two concepts and of Romanesque and contemporary elements.

The type specimen, part of the conclusion, is visible evidence of the successful combination of ideas and letterforms from the Romanesque period and our own times.

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