he Raffia Initialen were designed by Henk Krijger and released by Lettergieterij Amsterdam in 1952. They were distributed in North America by Amsterdam Continental Types and Graphic Equipment Inc. in electrotype format, and later through VGC on strips of typositor film. The master drawings were located in 2001 by longtime Lettergieterij Amsterdam employee Henk Gianotten, and are now part of the Special Collections division of the Univeriteitsbibliotheek of the University of Amsterdam.
The strokes are lively representations of raffia fibres and draw on forms produced by the natural movements of the hand holding a broad-nibbed tool; the build-up of strokes is reminiscent of late medieval, manneristic and baroque cadels, or lettres cadeaux. In the words of Robert Bringhurst, “…[Raffia] finds the root at which expression and abstraction and representation and tradition are all one. And out of this root it produces an alphabet that can only be used anti-alphabetically: one letter at a time…”
We are offering a state of the art digital edition manufactured by Canada Type from photocopied reproductions and digital photographic images of the master drawings, in consultation with Peter Enneson, longtime student of Henk Krijger’s life and work. This new edition is issued as an Open Type font and as an EPS vector archive along with it. The EPS glyphs allow colour manipulation of strands, individually or in groups.
More detailed background information and examples of the Raffia Initials in use can be found here.
From $50 USD