An independent archive of typography.
to participate.

Topics

Formats

Typefaces

Koninklijke Bibliotheek

Contributed by Matthijs Sluiter on Feb 22nd, 2019. Artwork published in
circa 2003
.
    Koninklijke Bibliotheek 1
    Source: https://www.karenpolder.nl License: All Rights Reserved.

    Sign for the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in Den Haag. Two huge words, “Koninklijke” (Royal) and “Bibliotheek” (Library), are set in one of the library’s two corporate typefaces – Garamond Premier – and applied to the triangular panels that shape the façade of the depot of the library, facing one of the city centre’s main gateways.

    Karen Polder:

    Altogether, the gold leaf used for this signage weigh hardly more than a packet of butter. Yet these enormous letters have been decisive for the shape of the façade panels. That was possible because architect Herbert van der Brugghen and I collaborated from the very first moment on the new construction for the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. Logistics was a complicated job. At Royal Eijsbouts in Brabant the gold was applied to the panels. The panels were transported hanging because otherwise the gold leaf on the corners would be damaged. At the construction site, the parts had to be indicated in the correct order. The people on the jetty could not see if they placed the correct letter fragment (they were too close to have an overview). From the one side, ‘Koninklijke’ is readable, from the other side ‘Bibliotheek’. The most exciting image is visible when you are in the middle, where the intertwined letters create a beautiful abstraction.

    Edit: for the lettering, Karen Polder did not pick one of the optical sizes of Garamond Premier, but instead picked Adobe Garamond.

    Koninklijke Bibliotheek 2
    Source: https://www.karenpolder.nl License: All Rights Reserved.
    Koninklijke Bibliotheek 3
    Source: https://www.karenpolder.nl License: All Rights Reserved.
    Koninklijke Bibliotheek 4
    Source: http://www.herbertvanderbrugghen.nl License: All Rights Reserved.
    Koninklijke Bibliotheek 5
    Source: http://www.herbertvanderbrugghen.nl Herbert van der Brugghen. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Koninklijke Bibliotheek 6
    Source: http://www.herbertvanderbrugghen.nl Herbert van der Brugghen. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Koninklijke Bibliotheek 7
    Source: http://www.herbertvanderbrugghen.nl License: All Rights Reserved.

    Typefaces

    • Adobe Garamond

    Formats

    Topics

    Designers/Agencies

    Artwork location

    3 Comments on “Koninklijke Bibliotheek”

    1. Feb 22nd, 2019  10:37 am

      The simplicity of the idea is stunning, and it’s beautifully executed.

      Garamond Premier comes in four optical sizes. Could you determine which cut was used? It would be interesting to learn if the adjustments made by Robert Slimbach to cater to print sizes (according to Adobe, the Caption cut was designed to be used for 5–8.9pt, while the Display is intended for sizes from 23 to 72pt) played a role here, too. I can imagine that at sizes this big and a viewing distance this wide, using a Caption style with sturdier details and wider shapes is favorable again.

    2. Feb 22nd, 2019  3:32 pm

      Good question. I’ll ask Karen.

    3. Mar 11th, 2019  3:32 pm

      I spoke to Karen: instead of using one of the brand typeface’s optical sizes, she picked a different cut of Garamond: Adobe Garamond.

    Post a comment