The Brill types


In 2008 the Dutch publisher Brill commissioned John Hudson/Tiro Typeworks to design an original typeface family specifically tailored to the broad editorial needs of its authors and editors. The resulting family, designed in four styles, is an elegant and versatile transitional design reminiscent of Baskerville's types. The ambition was also to offer a very broad character set in order to respond to the academic needs of the wide range of researchers and authors working with Brill. As project director Pim Rietbroek explains in The Brill Typeface User Guide, the four styles of the Brill type family allow users to access ‘every Latin character, every IPA character, every diacritic, and to have these combine in a typographically satisfactory manner.’ The family also offers full support for Greek (both modern and ancient) with specialised characters needed by papyrologists and epigraphers, and covers the various Slavic languages in the Cyrillic range. Moreover, thanks to being rigirously Unicode-compliant and to advanced OpenType programming, all alphabetic characters can carry any diacritic or combination of diacritics, even stacked, with automatic correct positioning.

The Brill family is an original design by John Hudson. Alice Savoie contributed to Brill bold and bold italic. The blackletter (‘Fraktur’) range of characters was made by Karsten Lücke. Valuable advice about the Greek and about the Cyrillic designs was graciously given by Gerry Leonidas and by Maxim Zhukov.

In 2013 The Brill was awarded a Certificate of Excellence from the NY Type Directors Club. The family is available for download on Brill's website, and may be used free of charge for non-commercial projects. Please refer to the publisher's EULA for more details.

Weights Roman, italic, Bold, Bold italic
Character set huge (including Latin extended, Cyrillic, polytonic Greek, IPA) Lead designer John Hudson
Blackletter types Karsten Luecke
Design & development of Bold & Bold italic Alice Savoie

© Alice Savoie 2020

contact alice@frenchtype.com