In the course of his long career Gerrit Noordzij has designed dozens of typefaces. Some have appeared only on book covers, others have been elaborated into text faces with all the trimmings. And the remarkable thing is: so far, he has kept almost all these faces to himself. Up to now only one, Ruse, has appeared on the market – and that was eight years ago.
One wonders what the reason for this can be. Is bringing out a typeface too much work? Does Noordzij have difficulty arriving at a final form for the letters? Or could it be that he finds it difficult to stomach the fact that other designers can do what they like with his brainchildren?
Be that as it may, for the typesetting in Rozenteelt in Nederland Noordzij went back to one of the many quality typefaces that exists exclusively on the hard disk in his own Mac. He chose a relatively heavy weight of Ruit (the name means rhombus or diamond, from the shape of the serifs), as a result of which the colour of the type area is on the dark side. Some panel members had difficulty with this. However, this robust visual impression, which is somewhat reminiscent of the colour of pages printed in gothic type, undeniably contributes to the book’s calm and self-assured powers of persuasion. Wide margins keep everything in balance.
This little book succeeds through its quiet lack of artifice. The format is elegant and slim. Hard boards, straight spine, sturdy paper. Perhaps this powerful simplicity has actually been taken a little too far: a topical head to help the reader find his way in the highly segmented text would not have been misplaced.