The proudly independent Dutch Type Library (dtl), is not only known for the iconic digital typefaces it has been producing and publishing since 1990, but also for its software for professional font production. The illustrious company, which entered the computer-font market in the industry’s very first decade, was founded by the renowned type designer, software developer, Research Fellow, and Senior Lecturer Dr. Frank E. Blokland.

In a volatile and constantly changing environment, both technical and commercial, the Dutch Type Library produces fonts in the classic way. This means that ample time is taken to refine and revise the dtl fonts until they are fully matured like a Premier Grand Cru Classé. For example, manual digitization with a lens cursor and tablet is still used to convert analog drawings into digital contours in the ikarus format. The emphasis is therefore not on quantity or a fast production process, but on ultimate refinement and quality control. In some cases, such as dtl Flamande and dtl Fell, this maturing took more than 25 years. However, although the production method is classic, the latest technology, developed at the Dutch Type Library, is applied to create sustainable fonts optimized for today’s and tomorrow’s use.

ExquisiteFonts website

The dtl collection of exquisite typefaces for graphic-design professionals contains work of world-famous type designers: Chris Brand, Matthew Carter, Stijn Cremers, Gerard Daniëls, Christoffel van Dijck, Nikola Djurek, Andrea Fuchs, François Guyot, Hanna Hakala, Michael Harvey, Erhard Kaiser, Hendrik van den Keere, Jan van Krimpen, Jacques-François Rosart, Lukas Schneider, Elmo van Slingerland, Fred Smeijers, Gerard Unger, Dirk Voskens, and Blokland himself.

DTL FoundryMaster: screenshot

Together with their longtime friends and colleagues at the Hamburg (Germany) based company urw –a pioneering font-technology company that has been in business since the early 1970s until it ceased to exist in 2020– dtl’s team of experts jointly developed tools for the (internal) font production for about 25 years.

DTL FontMaster: splash screens

The history of these tools goes all the way back to the revolutionary ikarus system from more than 40 years ago. Today urw no longer exists as an independent company following the acquisition of its font library by one of the major players in the type business. However, the Dutch Type Library keeps the history alive by actively further developing the relevant fonts tools.

The goal of dtl has always been to make the increasingly complex professional font production as simple as possible to handle, without compromising the quality aspect in any way. Initially, the (batch) font tools were developed exclusively for intensive internal use at dtl and urw, as, for example the video above shows.

Developing font tools at the Dutch Type Library is not only a necessity, but also very interesting and enjoyable. In addition, we consider it a privilege to make our advanced applications, developed for macOS, Windows, and Linux, available to the type community as well.


otm 8.9 exclusively available from dtl

In the past 32 years that the Dutch Type Library has been active on the font market, the profession has changed considerably. Until the early 1990s, proprietary font formats of the traditional typesetting-machine manufacturers gave way to the ‘universal’ PostScript and TrueType formats, and eventually the OpenType format. The development of new typefaces has been largely done by independent type foundries ever since. Sophisticated tools for the (post) production of fonts also came onto market: dtl OTMaster is one of them.

DTL FontMaster in Wine under 64-bit macOS

With the expanding font market came distribution by specialized third parties. Contrary to this development, however, the Dutch Type Library now centralizes the distribution of its unique products via its online boutiques. For example, the Dutch Type Library is the only distributor of its exquisite fonts. In line with this, dtl OTMaster 8.9 will be available exclusively from dtl from Monday 21 March 2022.

Customers who purchased otm 7.9 from a third party before this date, are entitled to a free upgrade to version 8.9. Please contact the Dutch Type Library via otm[at]

Wine under 64-bit (only) macOS

As of Catalina, macOS only supports 64-bit applications. At the Dutch Type Library, the vintage dtl FontMaster suite for Windows is still used under Wine, a compatibility layer for running Windows applications, on macOS systems as part of the font-production workflow. This required some tweaking with things like additional libraries and some keyboard layout swapping, but the tools work well. However, the 64-bit only macOS editions generated a problem for Wine users, as the reconstructed Windows environment was initially only 32-bit.

DTL FontMaster in Wine under 64-bit macOS

Recently, we managed to get the Windows 32-bit version of the good-old dtl FontMaster (fm) to work in Wineskin under 64-bit only macOS. The Wine developers (especially CodeWeavers) managed to run it under Catalina and Big Sur. We had to make some (surprisingly minor) tweaks in the latest Wineskin distribution and it al works fine now. Given fm’s successor, dtl FoundryMaster (fm2), is coming soon, this may not seem like a big deal, but the batch production of fonts here still largely relies on dtl FontMaster’s internal command-language scripts.

Typography Summer School
(University of Antwerp)

From 2 to 6 September 2019, the Plantin Institute of Typography and the University of Antwerp organize an international summer school on ‘critical approaches to typography’. The detailed program and application form are available here. The application deadline is 2 June 2019 and a maximum of 20 participants will be accepted. The registration fee of …

otm 8 under development

If everything goes well, autumn this year otm 8 will be released. This edition contains additional functionality, for example, enhanced support for ttc/otc fonts, the option to edit the stem-snap arrays and stdhw values in the cff Header, and also trackpad gestures. For the ttc/otc support the TrueType Collection Editor has been added. If one opens this tool, one …

New: dtl OTMaster 7.9

The previous retail version (6.3) of dtl OTMaster was released back in the spring of 2016. A lot of functionality has been added since, especially developed for the internal font production at urw Type Foundry and the Dutch Type Library. The current otm version is already 7.9 and an overview of the extensive new functionality …


Information on the good ol’ dtl FontMaster (fm) batch applications and related downloads can be found on these vintage webpages, which were published from 2001 on. These pages are not maintained anymore and hence their content is presented ‘as is’. However, fm is available for Windows still, if only because the IkarusMaster module is the last available application that supports manual digitizing in the ikarus format, utilizing a Wacom tablet with a lens cursor.

DTL FontMaster legacy website


Dutch Type Library

Zwaenenstede 49
5221 kc ’s-Hertogenbosch

Daliënwaerd 71
5221 ke ’s-Hertogenbosch

phone +31 (0)73 614 95 36
fax +31 (0)73 613 98 23