Do vandals peel letters of the Rijksmuseum walls?

Explore Paul van der Laan’s prone to peel typeface ‘Rijksmuseum’

A week after the opening, I visited the restored Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. The visual identity, including the typeface, is rigorously addressed. Main Responsible designer Irma Boom assigned typographer Paul van der Laan for a new type design: the ‘Rijksmuseum’.

My first encounter with the typeface in a museum environment was when I read the new type as sharp cutter cut stickers on an exhibition wall. Did I see it right? Did vandals, a week after the opening, already try to peel the ascenders of the l, h, d, b, t and k? A sharp look disproved my first reaction. This oblique ‘peel edge’ on the stem is deliberately designed. And looks in large point size in print actually spotless and in place. And is in small point size hardly noticeable.

I have great respect for designers and typographers of this class and the corporate design and font have become beautiful. But was one of the important museum applications, cutter cut text on walls, not tested on look and peel!?

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© June 2012, Marijn Engels