Zarathustra Font

zaratustra font
zaratustra typeface

Zarathustra is a revival from a typeface designed brussel painter Georges Lemmen at the beggining of the 20th century. It was specifically designed for the 1908 version of the Friedrich Nietzsche's book Thus Spoke Zarathustra, published by the Insel Verlag, based in Leipzig.

Historically, this book project was initiated by Harry Graf von Kessler to compete with prestigious european presses such as Kelmscott Press and Doves Press. His ambition was to create “the greatest book we ever seen […]”. He consigned the design book project to Henry Van de Velde, funder of La Cambre school of art, Brussel. Henry Van de Velde asked to Georges Lemmen to realize the type design. The design, influenced by Jugendstil and modernity, gives a feeling of hybridation. The ornement vocabulary, really present at this period, was thought as a system.

The revival project was initiated in 2012 during an Erasmus semester in the type design class at La Cambre, Brussel. Digitalized and draw from lead characters, this typeface is a compromise between the printed type machine version in La Cambre, really thin, and sources from the original printed version from the book Also Spratch Zarathustra conserved in the Royal Library of Brussel, bolder because of the paper texture, really fibrous.