The legendary and ever proudly independent Dutch Type Library (dtl), is not only known for the iconic fonts it has been producing and publishing since 1990, but also for its software for professional font production. The company was founded by the renowned type designer, software developer, Research Fellow, and Senior Lecturer Dr. Frank E. Blokland.
In a rapidly changing (technical) environment, the Dutch Type Library produces fonts the old-fashioned way, while using state of the art technology. For example, manual digitizing with a tablet and lens cursor is still used to transfer analog drawings to 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.
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.
Together with their longtime friends and colleagues at the Hamburg (Germany) based company urw –who were font-technology pioneers since the early 1970s– dtl’s team of experts jointly developed tools for the internal font production for about 25 years. 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 further developing the fonts tools in question.
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, as mentioned, the (batch) font tools were developed exclusively for intensive internal use at dtl, as, for example the video above shows.
As a grand gesture to the type community, the Dutch Type Library makes its highly professional font tools, which are developed for macOS, Windows, and Linux, also available to third parties.