Bookish is a typeface for indulgent reading & ambitious æsthetics.
A claim of unbroken tradition was never possible, but the longing was real. The gravitas, the allure! The golden days never existed, but in our hearts.
Conceptually revisionary but historically ambiguous.
The Bookish typeface is an attempt at taking a realist ontology seriously and with a new perspective and a not too much abstraction, trying to accommodate all pertinent levels of reality: material and ideal forms are enmeshed inextricably.
Bookish letters have a classical structure informed by calligraphic traditions of 16th century France and Dutch printers. Ancient inscriptions transcribed and slowly transformed by centuries of monastic study, then reinterpreted by early moderns and reprinted by traditionalists after the wars, finally digitally gestalted by a young student of typography in the new millennium. Past naiveté is gilded by memory. This a narrative in the Bookish typeface.
The expression that these letters take, is tied to a technological advancement after the metal printing epoch, which enabled seamless scaling and manipulation during the printing process: phototypesetting. In a short instance, expectations for diversity and flexibility exploded. However the new typefaces that could be scaled by optics and light, ironically were not optically corrected. To make matters worse, the machine could be out of focus, resulting in unreadable blobulous shapes instead of letters. Seen differently this softness is as pleasant and warm as a yellowed family photo.
Released by Helsinki Type Studio