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Thesis

Thesis

What Lucas Adrianus Wilhelmus de Groot really wanted was to become a painter. But his work had always been very graphical. It started when he was still at school in Noordwijkerhout. Annoyed by the bad typography of the school magazine, he immediately posted his suggestions for improvement under the editor’s door. By the next day he was on the editorial team.

From 1982 to 1987, de Groot studied under Gerrit Noordzij at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, a hotbed for new type. He specialised in typography, photography and illustration. His final piece of work was produced entirely in typefaces which he had designed himself, among them an early version of what later became his successful Thesis typeface, at that time still called “Paranthesis”.


The architecture of the Thesis tribe: 3 forms x 8 weights x 6 styles = 144 fonts

Between 1989 and 1993, de Groot, who goes by the name of Luc, worked for the respected design agency BRS Premsela Vonk on large corporate design projects. It was here that he laid the foundations for TheMix, Thesis’ semi-serif version, which became the corporate font of the Dutch Ministry of Transport and Water Management.

When he came to Germany in 1993 and joined MetaDesign in Berlin, he finally had time to finish his “typographical tribe” with its three families, TheSans, TheSerif and TheMix: “I couldn’t speak the language yet and I hardly knew anybody … so I took the time to complete Thesis”.


An enormous range of characters, with ligatures and variations, makes Thesis a typographical treat

By about 1994, Thesis had become a bestselling member of the FontFont Library. Despite the popularity of Adobe’s multiple-master fonts, which made it possible for ordinary users to generate custom fonts very easily, many type enthusiasts favoured the FF Thesis with its 144 fonts. One reason for this was undoubtedly the eight carefully harmonised font weights, which Lucas de Groot had developed with typographic sensitivity on the basis of his own interpolation theory. In addition to this, Thesis’ range of characters was unrivaled at that time.


Countless symbols – from an arrow to an Aldus leaf – in a variety of forms and weights
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