Walter Oscar Rothe — Antwerp (BE)

Mercator Project

type design, calligraphy, research


For the individual project during my studies at the Plantin institute for typography, I chose to research and revive the handwriting of Gerard Mercator as a typeface.

Gerard Mercator was not only known for his maps of the world and inventing the word “Atlas”, but also, in his time, as a proficient calligrapher.

I did a lot of research at a couple of museums, studying the letterforms very closely with a microscopic camera.

After that, I tried following Mercator’s calligraphy handbook and created letterforms with a broad-nib pen.

When the course concluded, I combined this research into digital letterforms. These, for me, are not finished but merely a starting point to delve deeper into this research in the coming years.

Monday Nov 5 2018