Kerning with Excelsior Script…

We finally got around to trying to print a specimen card of our Excelsior Script and found the architecture of the sorts to be odd.

Does anyone have any idea what the logic is with having the overhanging area with that slant on the bottom versus flat and supported by the adjacent shoulder. We broke two Ts before deciding this was way to dangerous to continue with it.

If you want to see the whole post with an added photo and questions about the face on our blog go to

The link to

provides a bit of information but still doesn’t really answer the question.

image: excelsior-script-2.jpg


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I have worked with the Excelsior, of which I had a couple of cases. It was cast by the Amsterdam Typefoundry and has overhanging parts, it’s indeed a delicate fount, but you can print perfectly well from it. Do you have the spaces to go with it? It does require special spacing material to support the overhanging parts. I kept it in the case surrounded by cotton wool or tissue paper. K├╝nstler Schreibschrift is a different face altogether. Other versions (under different names) of Excelsior exist in Europe, as typefoundries would often sell each other matrices. The German Futura was sold in France as Europe.

Thomas -

Could you post a photo of the spacing material?

Some ATF script faces use spaces that have the corners chamferred, but then the shoulder of those types also slopes off. The kern fits over the cutout portion of the space or of the adjacent types. A face like Typo Script has both ascenders and descenders in wedge-shaperd kerns.
I think the reason the kerns are slanted and at different angles is that such kerns are hand-finished.

I sold the Excelsior several years ago, I see what I can do, I might get the person who bought it to take the photo. I have now something similar: Calligraphiques Noires from the Fonderie Fran├žaise Typographique, the whole body is slanted, you start setting your line with a triangular shaped piece of spacing material and finish off the same way. But there is always a support for the overhanging bits.

Some time ago, I promised some photos of the spacing material for Calligraphiques Noires. Here they are, There is a triangular shape to start a line with and another one to finish. The characters and the spaces have got a kind of a hook, that will make them sit nicely together.

image: calligraphiques_1.jpg


And the second photo.

image: calligraphiques_2.jpg