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Erwin Olaf’s euro coin criticized for cheap typography

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Erwin Olaf is a kick-ass photographer, but does that make him a good coin designer? The Netherlands do have to uphold a reputation in this respect.

When Willem-Alexander became king of the Netherlands the need arose to design new coins. The job was given to Mr Olaf this time around. He seems to have done a respectable job, except for the lettering. Fonts In Use says: “It’s highly questionable whether such a bold wide retro-futuristic letterstyle in mixed case is suited for the medium and the topic—and whether it had to be a font (as distinguished from custom lettering) in the first place.”

The alleged lettering.

Mr Olaf used a free font he found on the web called Days, which is according to a commenter over at Fonts In Use “a display typeface meant for use in large sizes.”

The choice for an off-the-shelf type is also remarkable when contrasted with the fact that the country “today has more type designers per capita than any other country in the world, a remarkable fact considering that there is now not one surviving Dutch type foundry”, typographer Gerard Unger is quoted as saying on Typotheque.

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(Illustrations: Fonts In Use)

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