Wim Crouwel (Dutch, born 1928)
New Alphabet 1967
Gift of Foundry Types Ltd. © 2013 Foundry Types Ltd.
In the infancy of digital typography, designers had difficulty reconstructing traditional curvilinear letterforms with the large pixels of early computer screens. Wim Crouwel transformed this technological challenge into an expressive feature by using only horizontal lines to redesign the alphabet. In his own words, New Alphabet is “over-the-top and never meant to be really used,” a statement on the impact of new technologies on centuries of typographic tradition. However, in 1988, Peter Saville Associates used a stylized version of the font on the cover of Substance, an album for the band Joy Division. Based on Crouwel’s original studies, New Alphabet was digitized for contemporary use in 1997 by Freda Sack and David Quay of The Foundry.
Senior Curator, Architecture & Design Director, Research & Development
Research Coordinator, Research & Development
Museum of Modern Art