Beowolf was drawn and engineered in 1989 – the dawn of digital typography.
It was part of the first release of the then-new FontFont library.
Beowolf demonstrated that digital fonts are data and code, and therefore
instructions that can modify themselves. It was a collaboration between
Just van Rossum and Erik van Blokland and was heralded in their publication
“LettError”. A modern version of Beowolf, now in compatible OpenType format
can be licensed at FontFont.com. These fonts do not contain the original
random instructions: the modern font format just does not allow for such
silliness. However, we used the original PostScript fonts to generate 10
alternative shapes for each glyph in the font. These are mixed up by an
OpenType feature so complex it had to be written by another program.
Together with 22 other typeface families, The Museum of Modern Art acquired
FontFont Beowolf in 2011 for its Architecture and Design collection.
The family has 20 weights, ranging from Regular to Bold and is ideally suited
for advertising and packaging, film and tv, music and nightlife, poster and
billboards as well as software and gaming.
BeoSans provides advanced typographical support with features such as ligatures
and alternate characters. It comes with proportional oldstyle figures. This FontFont
is a member of the FF Beo super family, which also includes FF Beowolf."
Designer(s): Just van Rossum
Design date: 1992
MyFonts debut: Jan 1, 2000
The main focus at FontShop International is the extension and maintenance
of the FontFont typeface library. Fonts published as FontFonts are always
named using the prefix FF. Besides text and headline fonts such as FF Dax,
FF DIN, FF Meta, FF Quadraat and FF Scala there are also special designs
like the “dirty” typewriter font FF Trixie, the “living” font FF Beowolf
and the world’s first digital handwriting fonts FF Erikrighthand and FF
Justlefthand. The library now consists of over different 700 font families.
Type designers may submit their own type designs for publication in the
FontFont library. A committee of internal experts (TypeBoard) reviews
submissions for aesthetical, technical, and marketing aspects and decides
about publication in the library. A basic prerequisite is that the type
designs are original.
Erik van Blokland (1967) studied Graphic and Typographic Design at the Royal Academy
for Fine and Applied Arts in The Hague, Holland. Erik started to collaborate with Just
van Rossum under the name LetTeRror in Berlin, while working at MetaDesign. After
experimenting with computer programming in connection to type design, they came up
with Beowolf, the first typeface with a mind of its own. It was released by FontShop in
July, 1990. The radical approach of Beowolf caused a lot of publicity for LeTterRor, and
of course fame and fortune. Well, fame anyway. After stints at several places in the
world, including David Berlow’s FontBureau, van Blokland settled in The Hague as an
independent designer, working together separately with van Rossum. Their work now
includes type design, illustration, magazines, corporate design, interactive design,
animation, music, and websites. And lectures.
Just van Rossum (1966) studied Graphic and Typographic Design at the Royal Academy
for Fine and Applied Arts in The Hague, Holland. Van Rossum started to collaborate with
Erik van Blokland under the name LetTeRror in Berlin, while working at MetaDesign, Erik
Spiekermann's design studio. After experimenting with computer programming in
connection to type design, they came up with Beowolf, the first typeface with a mind
of its own. It was released by FontShop in May, 1990. The radical approach of Beowolf
caused a lot of publicity for LeTterRor, and of course fame and fortune. Some other
typefaces by LeTTeRRoR: Trixie, Erikrighthand, Justlefthand, Instant Types, Advert and
Kosmik. After stints at several places in the world, including David Berlow's FontBureau,
but not Adobe, van Rossum settled in the Hague as independent designers, working
together separately with Erik van Blokland.
We draw type, small and tall for web
and print. Some fonts are licensed by
House Industries and FontFont.
Some fonts are available right here.
We design stuff, build tools for designers
and do research. Occasionally illustration
and animation. We’ve been in business since 1989.
E. van Blokland & J van Rossum