Dutch type designer Fred Smeijers
enjoys remembering the Eureka moments in his career. They have often been connected with the readability of typefaces. There was the day in the mid-1980s, for example, when he first succeeded in making a screen font more readable by adjusting the grey scale correctly: “I was so happy that I whistled as I cycled home.”
Similarly important, if not quite so far-reaching, was a realisation that came during the development of the Arnhem
font family. Arnhem was created in 1998 as a commission for the Dutch government gazette Staatscourant.
In the course of the project, Smeijers had the rare opportunity to conduct extensive tests of his own and other typefaces on newspaper presses and paper. One of the insights he gained was that simple wedge serifs
did more to improve readability than any other feature, no matter how cleverly devised.
Arnhem is one of the best recent typefaces for newspapers and books. Its designer Fred Smeijers tested it on the printing press during development
This feature was only one of many that made Arnhem an immediate success among text fonts for use in newspapers and books. And it became the showcase font of Fred Smeijers own small label OurType
, founded in 2002.