n 2005, the Torquemada fonts marked the return of eminent American calligrapher Philip Bouwsma to the type scene after seven years of hiatus, and he certainly came back with some bells and whistles!

Torquemada offers the same kind of excitement that emanated from Bouwsma’s work in 1970s and 1980s New York, when he was one of the leaders of the New Calligraphy movement that brought calligraphy forth as a mainstream art and craft, and spawned many of today’s known calligraphers. Not only is this calligraphic art at its very digital finest, but it also introduces a completely new concept in drawing letters with a broad pen. Bouwsma’s Torquemada Principle defines the harmony of weight, contrast, tension and space by consistently changing the angle of the broad pen between 0 and 80 degrees throughout all strokes. When the strokes become hairlines at the lowest angles, the paths made by the corners of the pen cross over one another, making the outline flat or slightly hollowed. This new calligraphic idea gives us the rare opportunity to quote an old Monty Python joke: Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Torquemada comes in two weights, each of which contains the equivalence of two fonts. The built-in stylistic alternates feature allow for optically-optimized changes in vertical metrics (x-height and extenders), which makes it quite useful for display work and smaller sizes. A few alternate forms and swashes are also included in the character set, so a glyph palette can come in handy when you’re using these fonts.

After Torquemada was released so many years ago, it became quite popular, enough to ignite a kind of calligraphic font renaissance in the type scene. And who is better to pull that off than a veteran master calligrapher like Bouwsma?

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From $25 USD