This article was translated by John R. Bopp
At the very beginning of this blog’s history, we wrote about Basque fonts that you could download for free on the computer. At the time, we were just getting started, and our skills at information-gathering were not very well developed. That entry is one of our blog’s most visited, with over 27,000 hits.
A couple of years later, we wrote a new post talking about a page from the Northern Basque Country that was offering a beautiful collection of “Basque fonts” at a very reasonable price.
Today, we’d like to complete those two entries with some new information we’ve gathered to know a bit more about this Basque type that is so commonly found on signs throughout our country.
The truth is that, except for two or three of the most common font types, these resources are not easy to find, at least for those of us who don’t rub shoulders with font designers.
To get a better idea, we started off by looking at one of our favorite sources of information, the Auñamendi Encyclopedia. We found in it a thorough article about Basque type.
Referring back to our second post on this topic, the one referring to the Basque fonts called Basque letters, created by Thierry Arsaut, we’ve located the origin of this collection of 14 computer fonts with the general title:
We found out about it thanks to a press release regarding this collection, dated March 9, 2001, when it was put on sale for €65,000. In the press release, which you can find here, each of the fonts is explained.
It’s really a fascinating collection. The only way to get it, that we know of, is on Tierry’s website, which we’ve mentioned before. However, the price has come down a bit from those €65,000 they went to auction at.
As we said at the time, it does seem that the website is not being updated, though the purchasing link still works. However, the page’s prices haven’t been updated; it marks €22, but the actual price is now at €32.66, which still seems reasonable for these 14 fonts.
The complete collection can be found at Basque Letters.
The ancient characters of the 8th century are the inspiration for this font. Specifically, those that were used in the remote history of the Basque Country, or Waskonia as the Franks called it, on old tombstones and entry doors.
Canadian Luc Devroye also offers a font on his website named “Basque Fonts,” an impressive compilation that goes far beyond a font collection. It’s a long list of Basque fonts (or fonts inspired by Basque), all by Basque (or Basque-related) designers, that will be an absolute delight to those interested in (or curious about) this topic.
Finally, we can’t forget to include the free fonts that got these entries started.
We’re sure there are many more Basque fonts out there. If you find any, let us know; we’d love to include them.