Studio Brussels Lof
Jo Klaps
Biopolymer, steel, glass
3D printing, lasering, sandblasting, water jet cutting
Partly by hand, partly industrial

Fontrescue is the digitisation of letters from public spaces that are supplemented into a complete alphabet.


With the Fontrescue project, Studio Brussels Lof rescues old letters found on buildings and headstones in public spaces. Using new techniques, letters once created by letter painters and stonemasons are measured, digitised and supplemented into a complete alphabet so that they can be used once again. In this way, Studio Brussels Lof created a poem that residents wanted to see realised somewhere in their home.

The jury on Fontrescue:

“A mix of traditional knowledge and expertise is translated into contemporary production methods, preserving a piece of graphic history for future generations.”

How did the idea for this project come about?

Jo Klaps (Studio Brussels Lof): The idea originated in Bocholt cemetery, where my grandparents are buried. I noticed that people used to be much more stylish with the lettering on graves, buildings, etc. From a certain frustration around the disappearance of such typography, I thought it would be nice to breathe new life into the letters. I decided to digitise the letters I saw on tombstones, supplement the alphabet and reuse them for other projects. At the time, I had just received a request from a private individual to put a poem on a wall in his home and decided to use my first font for this.

What makes the project so special?

Jo Klaps: In particular the link between old fonts and contemporary techniques to revive them. The process of going from analogue to digital to analogue again excites me. For the font Pastoor Lemmens, I 3D-printed a poem by Menno Wigman and placed it in the stairwell of an artist’s home. Using the font Levensgevaar [Mortal Danger], I created a typography from lasered steel for a poem by Herman Rohaert for his own home.

Do you have any further plans for this project?

Jo Klaps: Most certainly. It is a project that will be further developed in the future with new fonts and also new applications. I would also like to be able to work together with others in this regard. So anyone who feels the calling to digitise fonts together knows how to find me!