Bery Roman.

Bery Roman Design Information

TYPE BY Bery Roman, designed by Fred Smeijers, is based on the stencil letters of Jean Gabriel Bery. Bery Roman is part of the Stencil Fonts Series.

Jean Gabriel Bery was a Paris stencil maker whose atelier was located on the Pont Notre-Dame. His work is mainly known from the stencil set he supplied to Benjamin Franklin in 1781, now at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. Bery’s confident sense of design and the excellent production of his stencils rank him among the best stencil makers of any period.

Bery’s roman letters exemplify the blend of calligraphic, engraved and typographic qualities found in French stencil letters throughout the eighteenth century. But it was recognition of the purely typographic potential of Bery’s letters that led Fred Smeijers to consider their revival, and it is these qualities that now come forward in Bery Roman. The unusual result is a design suitable for both text and display.

Students of stencil letters may notice that not all the characters in the glyph set have breaks. This feature is historically accurate and probably reflects a contemporary view of breaks that was mainly functional – that they should be as few and inconspicuous as possible, in keeping with conventional letters, while insuring a sufficiently strong stencil plate. Creating graphic consistency across a font by imposing breaks onto all the glyphs is, it seems, a more recent impulse.

Bery Roman offers typographic solutions made attractive by the openings of the stencil idiom, solutions to which its partner, Bery Script, will add a flourish. Together they capture many of the finest features of stencil letters in a long French tradition, and make an evocative contribution to the Stencil Fonts Series.

Bery Roman fonts are available in OTF CFF, TTF, WOFF and WOFF2 formats.

The Stencil Fonts Series was launched on April 19 2012 to accompany the exhibition ‘Between Writing & Type: the Stencil Letter’ held at Catapult Gallery, Antwerp. Curated by Eric Kindel and Fred Smeijers, the exhibition showcased the history and development of the stencil letter and displayed a selection of historical and contemporary artifacts and their applications.

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