alfphabet
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About

alfphabet_condensed_medor alfphabet_types

Historical background

The Alfphabet family is based on the Belgian road signage called ‘Alphabet’ in French and ‘Alfabet’ in Flemish. It was introduced in 1945 by 3M system working for the Marshall plan after the end of the war. In 1975, it was replaced by the Swiss SNV fonts, but is still in used randomly by the Belgian railroad and Charleroi’s metro. In the early nineties, Pierre Huyghebaert was able to copy the original plates just before the split of the national office of the roads ‘Fond des Routes’ in three regional entities and the burial of the documents deep into regional archives.

Alfphabet Condensed is a rough merge between Alfphabet II (condensed caps only) and Alfphabet III (semi-condensed lowercase only!). It was redrawn in various occasions by Karl Bassil and Pierre under Hammerfonts umbrella in Brussels, then completed at Mind the gap studio in Beirut by Karl with the help of Nadim Zablit in the late nineties. The contrast between uppercase and lowercase is still quite non-typographic, and lot’s of diacritics need improvement.

Backstage

2011/9/17 Benoit Brunel <xxx@gmail.com>:
Justement ça concerne l’article, j’ai besoin de quelques informations
et je sais que tu as les réponses.
Tu me disais que Michel Olive avait proposé un système de fonts pour…
la SNCB ou la STIB ?
Pour les deux, quel est le système en place? D’où vient-il? Belge?

2011/10/2 Pierre Huyghebaert <xxx@speculoos.com>
Michel Olyff a répondu à un appel de ce qui s’appelait le fond des routes, national, vers 1975.
Ils utilisaient jusque là des caractères que les planches appellaient Alfabet ou Alphabet selon la langue.
Il y avait le type I, II, III, IV et V soit des chasses différentes en majuscules et une “police” juste pour les minuscules!
Son nouveau système signalétique une fois au point, très moderniste type Frutiger, il a fait produire une étude comparative de lisibilité, sur un mode scientifique typique des années 70.
Mais le fonctionnaire cadre en poste à l’époque, que j’ai rencontré à la fin de sa carrière et juste après le démantèlement régional de son institution fin des années 90, m’a expliqué avoir reculé devant le prix demandé par Olyff, pourtant raisonnable : 800000 francs belges soit 20000 euros, qui à l’époque devait bien valoir le double. Il a décidé d’opter pour la SNV suisse, gratuite…
La SNCB continue parfois a utiliser l’Alfphabet, vaille que vaille, dans des versions très mal vectorisées, et mélangées au pire, type Arial.
La STIB l’a aussi utilisé mais a depuis longtemps varié ses choix, largement vers l’Helvetica dans la métro, et depuis quelques années avec son changement d’identité, une fonte custom transitionnelle à la hollandaise.

Content of the directory

  • Type-I (Actually Type-I uppercase with Type-V lowercase)
    • UFO & OTF files
    • SFD working file
  • Type-III (Actually Type-III uppercase with Type-V readapted-lowercase)
    • UFO & OTF files
    • SFD working file
  • Type-IV (Type-IV is uppercase only)

    • UFO & OTF files
    • SFD working file
  • Fontlog

  • OFL Licence + FAQ

Known issues and future developments

  • Diacritics need improvement

  • Contrast between uppercase and lowercase (Type-I/III) is still quite non-typographic

Coverage

  • Alfphabet I currently provides the following Unicode coverage:

    • Basic Latin: 93/95
    • Latin-1 Supplement: 66/96
    • Latin extended A: 4/128
  • Alfphabet III currently provides the following Unicode coverage:

    • Basic Latin: 95/95
    • Latin-1 Supplement: 95/96
    • Latin extended A: 3/128
  • Alfphabet IV currently provides the following Unicode coverage:

    • Basic Latin: 95/95
    • Latin-1 Supplement: 60/96

Information for Contributors

Copyright 1992-2014 Hammerfonts and OSP (Karl Bassil, Nadim Zablit, Pierre Huyghebaert, Ludivine Loiseau).

Alfphabet IV was redrawn by Pierre Huyghebaert and Ludi at Speculoos studio in 2007.

Alfphabet is released under the OFL 1.1 -- http://scripts.sil.org/OFL For information on what you're allowed to change or modify, consult the ofl.txt and ofl-faq.txt files. The ofl-faq also gives a very general rationale and various recommendations regarding why you would want to contribute to the project or make your own version of the font.

ChangeLog

To do

Acknowledgements

If you make modifications be sure to add your name (N), email (E), web-address (W) and description (D).
This list is sorted by last name in alphabetical order.

N: Karl Bassil
D: Typography

N: Nadim Zablit
D: Typography

N: Ludi Loiseau
E: hello@ludi.be
W: http://www.ludi.be
D: Typography

N: Pierre Huyghebaert
E: pierre@speculoos.com
W: http://www.speculoos.com
D: Typography

Snapshots | iceberg

Inside this repository

Log

 

Eric Schrijverironized

— First commit of the sources, combining the info and font files available on the OSP Foundry Blog.

Actually, there is just a TTF: no UFO (PostScript?) source.

Ludi/Pierre?

x

Saturday, 14th September 2013 - 16:15

 

Eric Schrijversaid

— Image called iceberg/{font_slug}_banner.png will show up as the banner

(Rename for the git based implementation of the OSP Foundry design)

Saturday, 14th September 2013 - 19:44

 

Pierre Huyghebaertlet out

— Added Alfphabet Condensed at the occasion of Medor release

Wednesday, 24th September 2014 - 02:39

 

Pierre Huyghebaertrevealed

— Added a sample

Saturday, 3rd January 2015 - 16:17

 

Gabrieltattled

— Added Alfphabet-TypeI and README.md

Tuesday, 13th June 2017 - 14:33

 

Gabrielrendered

— Updated README

Tuesday, 13th June 2017 - 14:45

 

Gabrielunwraped

— Update README.md

Tuesday, 13th June 2017 - 15:46

 

Gabrielcried

— Update README.md

Tuesday, 13th June 2017 - 15:49

 

Gabrielclaimed

— Corrected Fontinfo of Alfphabet-I

Thursday, 15th June 2017 - 14:13

 

Gabrielshouted

— Generated UFO version of Alfphabet-I

Thursday, 15th June 2017 - 15:37

 

Gabrielbring out

— Cleaned the repo and added content of directory to the README

Thursday, 15th June 2017 - 16:24

 

Gabrieltalked

— Update README.md

Thursday, 15th June 2017 - 18:29

 

Gabrielverbalised

— Updated Type-I fontinfo, Added img to iceberg, Updated README

Monday, 19th June 2017 - 15:26

 

Gabrieldivulged

— Update README.md

Monday, 19th June 2017 - 15:55

 

Gabrielverbalized

— Update README.md

Monday, 19th June 2017 - 15:56

 

Gabrieltold

— Generated woff and ttf version of the Type-IV

Wednesday, 21st June 2017 - 15:50

 

Quentin Astiébring out

— transition UFR

Tuesday, 24th October 2017 - 17:48

 

Quentin Astiéwhispered

— + documentation folder

Tuesday, 24th October 2017 - 17:50