15 november 2019 — publications

The publication 26 is a speculative 26th chapter of the book Theory of Type Design by Gerard Unger (22 Jan 1942-23 Nov 2018). Despite that the number 26 will always remain a benchmark in the Latin type world, Unger’s book about those Latin letters only consists out of 25 chapters. As Gerry Leonidas describes it in his foreword, Unger’s book “offers a reference point for the design community to respond to, and, not least, for other authors to contribute further.” So did Gerard Unger deliberately not include a 26th chapter? Is this book actually a request for other type designers to respond to? Can Unger’s choice for writing 25 chapters be regarded as an open invitation for anybody to write their own version of the missing 26th chapter themselves? We hope to read many 26th chapters by other type designers in the future, which will keep Unger’s spirit of writing on type design alive. Bring on the responses. Our 26th chapter is this publication.

The text in this publication is an elaboration of the talk Underware held during the book presentation on 6 September 2018 at the Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. 26 was written and published by Underware on the occasion of TypeAmsterdam 2019.

Win a free copy!
We’re giving away 26 copies of the publication 26. For free! And we really mean “free” as in free. No hidden meanings, which is almost an exception these days. We’ll randomly pick 26 addresses from those who apply, and then we’ll ship the publication for free. This publication is not for sale. With other words: this is your only chance.

If you want to participate in this raffle and win a free copy of this publication, make sure you send your name & full postal address before 22 November 2019 to info@underware.nl and mention “I wanna win 26!”. Winners will be notified before 1 December.

22 may 2018 — publications
The Tale of the Cat

Written words always exist within the three dimensions of the maker (the type designer), the user (the designer) and the consumer (the reader). But what does it mean to be a type-maker, -user or -consumer? How is language working anyway? Together with Dutch composer Jacq Palinckx and writer Kees ’t Hart, we investigated into an expanded understanding of typography. Attendees of our lecture at the TYPO Berlin conference last Saturday, could afterwards continue to observe language with the publication The Tail of the Cat.

18 may 2018 — publications
Ten Commandments of Type

Do we still have shared beliefs? Last Sunday we gave a lecture at the All Eyes on Type Festival in Rotterdam. What to do on this very early Sunday morning, at a time when people used to go to church? We’re happy to see that it’s still possible to bring people together on Sunday morning. People who have shared beliefs and get together, luckily that still exists. So we were all in Rotterdam that day to celebrate type. Because all attendants belief in type. In a time when hand lettering became more popular than other religions, it’s important to reflect on the craft of making letters, and think about what we are actually doing. That Sunday we wanted to share some thoughts on how to communicate. Some thoughts on making letters. This service is a story in which we worked towards the ultimate celebration of type. Towards the end, everybody, every individual, received his own sacred typographic host. Because this is the only true way to celebrate something you, us, we all believe in. It became a service which was taking of with live organ music, and ended with a sacred host in the form of a tiny printed publication: Ten Commandments of Type.

14 april 2018 — publications
Font Fiction

Ladies and gentlemen, may we introduce Font Fiction, tomorrow’s fonts designed today. Visitors of the TYPO Labs 2018 conference in Berlin received a – pretty future-proof – printed copy of this manifesto. The rest of the world can read it online at fontfiction.com.

28 june 2017 — publications
New publication: Zeitung newspaper

We’re happy to announce the latest news on web typography. Every wondered how to recognise poor web typography? Why is it that micro-typography on the Internet lags centuries behind? What is the connection between text lines and Laurel & Hardy? Why is web typography actually a misleading designation? This newspaper tells in a nutshell what designers should keep in mind when deciding on typography for web users, including key design-elements and often overlooked facts.

24 pages full of typographic wisdom and experiments. Everybody who designs for screens should read why web typography sounds good, but looks awful, so get your own Zeitung newspaper.


31 january 2017 — publications
We love shop windows 5


Safari Typo Amsterdam at Athenaeum bookstore, Amsterdam

The new Safari Typo Amsterdam publication is currently on display in the Athenaeum bookstore at Spui square, right in the middle of the heart of the middle of the city centre. So very very very central in Amsterdam. It’s very touristic there as well, a perfect location to display a tourist guide. We love shop windows. We really do. In case you question this, no need to Google that, just search for shop window on this site. Tourists can now expand their mind by exploring the typographic side of the Dutch capital. This 50-year old legendary bookshop is a nice starting point.

23 january 2017 — publications
New Publication: Safari Typo A’dam

Safari Typo Amsterdam is a brief typographic tour of letters in public space in the Dutch capital, presented by type designer Bas Jacobs. If you’re willing to leave the well-trodden touristic paths, let letters guide you across Amsterdam. If you have seen enough touristic traps, or don’t want to see them at all, this tour will take you to various parts of the city you would otherwise have missed. Discover how architects, artists and designers left their mark on the city by means of the letters they created on buildings, on bridges, on monuments and elsewhere. This pocket-size book is easy to carry with you as you explore the city. This book is only meant for tourists ready for a mind-expanding experience.

Filmed in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Based on a documentary by Thomas Sipp


Part 1: Amsterdam school & its contemporaries
Lettering in public space by architects & artists

How did architects leave their typographic mark on the city during the interbellum period, and how do contemporary architects and designers respond to this? Featuring letter forms by Piet Kramer, Martijn Sandberg, Reinoud Oudshoorn, Anton Kurvers, Janno Hahn, Hijman Louis de Jong & Rene Knip.



Part 2: Letters with a story
The extravaganza uncensored tour

Can letters tell you a story which you cannot directly read from the letters themselves? The stories behind the letters are as interesting as the letter shapes themselves. This uncensored safari features letter forms by Adrian Frutiger, Jan van Krimpen, Hermann Zapf & Bert Johan Ouëndag.

Published by De Buitenkant, and presented last Friday in Amsterdam. Bookshops have it in store from today on, but it can also be ordered online in our shop.

Media coverage: local newspaper, tv & radio.

More about the publication Safari Typo Amsterdam.

24 september 2015 — publications
Tripper stencil set


Some stuff makes us sooooo happy. Ever since we released Tripper earlier this year, we have been playing around with real Tripper stencil sets ourselves. We decided to take them in production, so everybody can play around. Here it is: the let’s-not-fake-it-this-is-the-real-Tripper-stencil-set.

ABC spray what you want to be

We know you’re sitting behind a computer screen now, and we know you are completely clean. Probably you are totally clean seven days a week, no? But look what can happen if you are willing to get your hands dirty. Go ahead, surprise your lover. Surprise your colleague. Surprise yourself.

Numbers. Because you want to spray the final results of your favourite team as well

Tripper stencil set
size: 120 x 140 mm
pieces: 36 (A-Z 0-9)
material: Sendzimir
price: €124,–

27 february 2015 — publications
New publication: Webtypografie klinkt goed

This one is for the Dutch only. Sorry. We wrote a short text on web typography, from obvious questions to often overlooked issues. Luckily the complete text is available online, so Google Translate yourself crazy.

Sounds good, no?

Wat hebben Laurel & Hardy met regellengtes te maken? Hoe kan het dat microtypografie op het web vijf eeuwen achterloopt? Is er dan nog hoop? Jawel. Letterontwerper Bas Jacobs behandelt als een snelheidsduivel in vogelvlucht de belangrijkste elementen van typografie op het scherm, van welbekende inkoppertjes tot vaak over het hoofd geziene zaken.


Omdat de tekst het verschil aanhaalt tussen lezen van een scherm versus lezen van papier, is de tekst op beide media beschikbaar.

Read online | Read printed

18 march 2011 — publications
Authentic Martyr Certificate

The ‘Book of war, mortification and love’ contains a little note:


Wanna get the full voluntary suffering experience?

Step 1: Write down the page numbers of every page in this book containing the word ‘pain’.

Step 2: Send the page numbers to the publisher and earn the Authentic Martyr Certificate.


A while ago we received this handwritten letter:



Dear Mick, thanks for your letter.


We received plenty of emails which mentioned the correct page numbers, but as a true martyr you were the only one who candidly understood that real sufferers don’t send emails. They write a letter by hand instead. Well done, our compliments.


Additionally we should compliment you with the correct page numbers, you passed the test. Furthermore we appreciate your use of language, deepest hope to be granted the certificate for official martyr-dom (which actually should be martyrdom, but we’ll turn our blind eye to that). If that ain’t enough, you send us your compliments: I absolutely loved the book. The stories sometimes really got to me in an emotional way. Brilliant! We forgot to tell we don’t like to receive compliments, we like to suffer as much as we can. These 2 sentences almost destroyed your achievement, but we will be generous with you.


Handwritten & correct page numbers & correct language. Well, well, well. Scoring 3 out of 3 means you’re the only person ever to sincerely deserve the Authentic Martyr Certificate. Please find it enclosed in this envelop. In case you’re hoping to receive a nicely designed certificate, you should have known better. True sufferers are proud to have a Microsoft Word template on their wall, which reminds them every day of their god damn life that suffering is learning.


Keep suffering!


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