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You are here: Home / Conferences / Amsterdam 2013 / Presentation programme

On Her Majesty's Secret Scribal Service

When Sat 12 Oct 1100
Where Krasnapolsky A
What Place and design
Who Frank Blokland

On 30 April 2013 at 10:07 hrs. H.M. Queen Beatrix signed her Abdication Act at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, just opposite of the ATypI conference-hotel Krasnapolsky. The firm Joh. Enschedé Amsterdam was commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations to produce the document, as well as the accompanying storage cassette. The overall design was by Jaap Drupsteen, famous for the last generation of Dutch (guilders) banknotes and the current Dutch passports.

The letters on the act, in Humanistic Minuscule and Italic hands, with all their contextual letter-variants, were written by Frank E. Blokland and transferred by himself into digital fonts: Abdicatie Regular and Abdicatie Italic using the DTL FontMaster tools. Because of a very tough deadline this all had to be done within four days. The text was subsequently silkscreened on parchment. The application of the fonts was a one-time event. The names of the Queen and the new King were typeset in John Hudson’s Constantia and gilded by heraldist Trudie Demoed.

All work on this most important Dutch document of 2013 had to be done in complete secrecy. Everyone involved in the production process, from designers to book binders had to solemnly swear not to reveal any details, whether about the content or the shape of the act before its signing. Everything was kept secret so well, that when the act was signed at the Royal Palace, there was no information on its creators available for the press. This was in stark contrast with the abundant info presented on the designers of for instance the dresses of Queen Maxima and the little princesses.

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