Sunday, August 03, 2014

A Note on the Text: Duchat

The text of this book is set in Duchat, an angular typeface based on the handwriting of Emmanuel Duchat, royal scrivener to Nicolas II. Duchat expressed his intelligence in a barbed tongue, his wit evinced in the reams of correspondence he left behind. Duchat the man was an epicure: his spacing provided ample separation, inviting readers to savor every shape and word.

Duchat wrote in an quick hand, his bowls evoking eyes that squint at the heavens in inquiry, be it daytime, midnight, or eclipse. The typeface that bears his name bristles with loops and tails; its ascenders emerge like figures leaping up on tiptoe. 

The letterforms are a lean creation, sparingly adorned, marked by acute curvature. Steep swoops dictate the pace, while the capitals are not overlarge, like an emperor who is respected, but not given too wide a berth.

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