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Trinité is designed by the dutch designer Bram de Does in 1982. It was made for the production of phototypesetting. Initially, the intention was, to design a photoversion of Jan van Krimpen’s Romanée. But due to the stubborn and perfectionate Bram de Does, Trinité was designed instead. The font is, as de Does claims, both original and ordinary at the same time. A duality that contributes with an extra charm and curiosity. The font is systematically slobby in a playful way rather than romantic. It contains small imperfections, as when Bram plays the violin a little of the key, which gives it a human rhythm to it. Trinité, generally characterized as subtle and elegant, was designed to be an all-purpose typeface and it is indeed classical—yet not too dogmatic. De Does and Peter Matthias Noordzij released a postscript version of Trinté in 1992 by the Enshedé font foundry TEFF.
Trinité comes in tree different versions (and a fourth italic version) with tree different sizes of descenders and ascenders—therefor the name Tri-ni-te. All characters without descenders and ascenders are the same in all versions. The typeface is very flexible for typesetting, because you can easily swift from regular to medium and from Roman Wide 1 to Roman Wide 2 without the problem of reflowing. Trinite is also a very legible font, due to the the functionality of the serifs, which pursues a balanced and more harmonious flow for literary works.
Drawing for Trinité. Pay attention to the slight curve in the serifs, the wide counter in the e, and the small irregularities in the z, n and r. From the book: Bram de Does by Mathieu Lommen"
The font is characterized by the asymmetrical and squarish serifs which embeds a calligraphic personality, slight curve to the straight strokes and wide proportions and spacing together with a low contrast. Bram de Does addresses four adjectives to the font Trinité: The struggle between solidarity, balance, precision and charm. None of the adjectives are too dominant, which triggers the tension between originality and ordinariness. His mother thought Trinité was perfectly ordinary and looked like plenty other fonts, while important men of letters, wrote letters full of admiration. Bram achieved his goal: Extreme originality and extreme ordinariness was united in one single typeface. Trinite had not only been a great struggle and a great accomplishment, but it had become a great success.
 
“I often try to give people the impression that I am perfectly ordinary, but what I probably actually like best is extreme originality. From the reaction from those around me I can tell that they are not entirely convinched. Genuinely ordinary people think I’m a bit crazy and really crazy people think I’m too ordinary—or, worse, conventional. That way, of course, you never belong anywhere. Doubtless it all has to do with the war and my upbringing”. —Bram de Does. From the book: "Bram de Does" by Matheau Lommen.
 
Bram de Does wouldn’t describe himself as a person with a light attitude towards life, rather the opposite. The job at the prestigious dutch type foundry Joh. Enschedé couldn’t dispense from this worrying attitude and Bram de Does negated the idea of making a “career” at the foundry.
From the Documentary about Bram: "Systematisch slordig"
 


Instead he restricted his working hours to a minimum, and started living on a self-sufficiency in horticulture, keeping sheep and forestry. Bram is very dedicated to craft in all sense, and the life in the garden was very appealing to him. But after a while the romantic idea of a grower and smallholder as a carefree individual, was not as he supposed it to be. The two jobs: Charles Enschedé’s “Typefoundries in the netherlands, edited by Harry Carter, and the commission to design The Trinité Typeface, was what brought Bram de Does back to culture and Joh. Enshéde for good.


Bram de Does's most noteworthy book for Enschedé, is Charles Enschedé's Typefoundries in the Netherlands (1978). At this time only a company like Enschedé company could produce such an extensive work in letterpress, to such high a high standrads of quality. The title-page, set in centred and well-spaced Romanée capitals, is a tour de force. In the printing office people called De Does 'puntje in, puntje uit' which roughly translates as 'a little bit more, a little bit less'. Without doubt he is a conservative book typographer, working in the tradition of Jan van Krimpen. He regards his use of capital with lowercase on title-page and cover, along with his use of ornaments, as his 'modernism'. Under the imprint Spectatorpers he publishes books which he has designed, set by hand and printed in letterpress. He loves the sense of independence and the total control he has over production. Often he uses Van Krimpen's Romanée typeface or other historic typefaces from the Enschede collection. In 1993 he received the Premio Felice Feliciano award for his Spectatorpers publication 'The Steadfast tin soldier'. De Does is more important as a type designer.In 1982 his Trinité typeface was released, and it was awarded the H.N. Werkman Prize in 1991. He also wrote a candid essay about the backgrounds of this Enschedé bookface called Romanée en Trinité.Historisch origineel en systematisch slordig (1991).Trinité gained real popularity when it was released as PostScript font. In 1995 Enschedé released another De Does typeface: Lexicon. A pre-release version of Lexicon was used to set the 1991 edition of Van Dale's Groot woordenboek der Nederlandse taal. Lexicon is a highly versatile design and it has all the virtues to become a new Times New Roman.

 


Bram was asked to design a series of ornaments to be used by the company Enschedé as security printing. But because such things as the credit card was introduced he never finished this project. Out of a sort of ‘protest’ to digitalism he decided to cast the ornaments and proceed in working with them himself. He designed a series of ornaments called the Kaba ornaments (Kaba ornament. Deel I, Vorm. Orvelte, Spectatorpers, 2002.)Kaba is the Arabic word for cube. This derives from an admiration of Arabic decoration and because the basic unit of the kaba ornament is the square. The Kaba ornaments constitutes his skills in aesthetic precision compiled with a scent of asymmetric volume, which is apparent in most of his work, and conveys a character, dedicated to perfection thus, still a humanist.

 


Jan van Krimpen (1892 to 1958) is the most famous Dutch type designer of the first half of the twentieth century, some might say. His elegant typefaces were originally made for manual printing and for monotype machines. One of his famous works was a dutch stamp. Besides Romaneé he designed Romulus, Lutetia and spectrum among others, and various books as well. He had a great impact on dutch design and on Bram de Does, who also designed and typesetted various books using his fonts.

Spread typesetted by Bram de Does from the book: The work of Jan Van Krimpen.
 
 
Bram de Does was highly against a photoversion of Romaneé. It contained too many details, that would get lost in the production of Phototypesetting, as in the case with Bembo. Joh. Enshedé suggested then, that Bram would be the designer of a new typeface influenced by the style and character of Romaneé, and appropriate for Phototypesetting. Making Trinité was not an easy job for de Does, he not only studied Romaneé but more than fifty printed samples of typefaces (mostly twentieth-century). He studied the overall proportions as stroke weights, contrast and spacing. He considers these material proportions more important than style. Especially the italic version of Trinite have some clear similarities to Romanee. Bram was also drawn to more Renaissance fonts such as, Nicolas Jenson’s Eusebius 1470, with its even color and regularity. Trinite reflects its wide proportions and spacing. low contrast and calligraphic qualities. He liked older fonts, because of their embedded roughness and imperfections. Early Bram was to chose, if he would pursue a symmetrical or a non-symmetrical approach to his work. This was a distinction between classical and experimental design. Bram went for the classical path, which at that time was quite controversial. Bram thinks that there is a clear destinction between being classical and traditional. And he thinks that classical design has a less dogmatic ouvre than traditional design.

Romaneé type specimen. From the book: "Bram de Does" by Matheau Lommen