As the Lost Type crew spent the day exploring the streets of Amsterdam, we were amazed at the range of letters and typographic elements on buildings, billboards, posters and graffiti throughout the city. Our exploration took us to the district of Jordaan, where old, traditional pubs the locals call ‘bruin cafés’ can be found. Some of these historic ‘brown cafés’ still have windows graced with elegantly hand-painted script.
Known as ‘Amsterdamse Krulletter’ or ‘Amsterdam Curly Letter’, the beautiful script originated from the Dutch brush writers and painters of the 17th and 18th centuries. More info can be found in this wonderful article. We were fortunate to get a close-up look to admire the skillfully executed brush strokes, beautiful connections, transitions from thick to thin, up and down direction of the strokes, and natural variations characteristic of hand-painted letters. Here are a few of the cafés we found.