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Re: Raffia

enneson wrote:
Peter Enneson wrote:
> I must say that I find the level of discussion on this list to have
> hit an all time low. We are now discussing 'no subject' after having
> discussed a non-typographic subject (native tongues) at some length,
> and I am now greeted with little more than gibberish every time I
> access TYPO-L mail.

With the foregoing I heartily agree. But the lack of enthusiasm for
replying to the query may have more to do with Raffia in particular
than the decline of intelligent discussion in general.

>         Meanwhile my request for information a while back
> about a venerable historical face (the Raffia Initials) and its
> creator managed to evoke nary a smile or wink.

Venerable? Historical? The first adjective absurd; the second only
applies in the most literal sense ? it was released in 1952, not
last week.

>         Is there anybody out there still using them? Has anyone seen them
> described or analyzed at some length?

Was there ever anybody using them, one might wonder.
   Raffia was designed by Henk Krijger, Lettergieterej Amsterdam
released it in 1952. Also the typeface is shown in a number of
type specimen books, nothing beyond name/foundry/date is given
in these. The is no entry for the designer in Rookledge's
International Handbook of type designers, nor in other sources
I can readily consult.
   The exception, in a modest way, is to be found (p. 310) in
Oldrich Hlavsa: Typografická písma latinková, Prague: SNTL, 1960.
Hlavsa also calls it "of baroque character". Hlavsa refers to a
likely calligraphic antecedent from 1772, of M. de Andrade. (As
I do not really read Czech, this is an uncertain translation?)
   Who is M. de Andrade? Anybody have a clue?

> [?]
> David A. Mundie's "A Field Guide to Type Classification" designates
> the Raffia Initials as a triple stroked ornamental script display
> face (16.6.1). I have seen the initials referred to as baroque
> and as rococo in inspiration, oblong and
> angular; I have seen them related to chinese pictograms; I am trying
> to imagine the process of their construction--some of the initials
> have up to a dozen strokes, none of which could be considered a
> defining stroke--so where does the underlying architecture of the
> letters derive from? Any thoughts anyone?

Andras Furesz
Very Graphics [books]
P.O. Box 95642   Seattle, WA 98145
206 325 1105  fax 206 325 2829

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