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About Foundry Gridnik
Foundry Gridnik, a remarkable, distinctive, and angular geometric design that is inspirational, versatile, and iconic typeface design by the much loved Dutch visionary, Wim Crouwel. Once described as ‘the thinking man’s Courier’, derives from a typeface that was originally designed by Crouwel in the late 60s for Olivetti, as a single weight typewriter face, but it was never released as a font.
Created in close collaboration with Wim Crouwel, following his agreement with The Foundry in 1996, to create digital fonts from his experimental alphabets. Crouwel’s father’s original, precise pen and ink drawings of the 1976 low-value postage stamps of the PPT, Dutch post ofﬁce, were digitized by The Foundry in 1996.
Crouwel was affectionately known as ‘Mr. Gridnik’ by his friends and contemporaries because of his devotion to grids and systems in his work to create visual order. This inspired the name Foundry Gridnik for the typeface family. Crouwel once said, ‘I am a functionalist troubled by aesthetics’, and although based on logic, rationality, and with strict adherence to the grid, Foundry Gridnik also has a human dimension that sets it apart from other modulated geometric letterforms.
In the original idea that Crouwel had developed for Olivetti, he used a basic unit of 7. Using multiples of this he arrived at a stem width of 56. From this it was easy to calculate the new weights, halving it for the light to a stem width of 28, adding half again to make a stem width of 84 for the medium, and lastly doubling it to make 112 for the bold. This was entirely in keeping with Crouwel’s thinking. An additional Extra Bold weight has been designed to fit this system along with Italic weights with full approval from Crouwel.