Standards for Lettering: NEN 3225


As part of an increasing urge for standardization, models for executing utilitarian lettering appeared in the twentieth century. In the design world, standardization was not uncontroversial: the customary opposition between commercial reality and the cultural elite. This essay, partly based on archival research, examines the history and creation of NEN 3225, which is the best-known Dutch standard letter. The lettering project started in 1944, during the German occupation, and it was not until 1962 that this standard appeared in book form. The celebrated type designer Jan van Krimpen was a member of the responsible committee. He had strong design ideals. Unlike the less nuanced German standard letter like DIN 1451, NEN 3225 proved difficult to execute for less experienced craftspeople. 

  • Author: Mathieu Lommen
  • Size: 8.25 × 11.125 inches 
  • Pages: 24
  • Binding: Pamphlet
  • Condition: Upper left corner bumped, alas
  • Publisher: 3 Books, 2023