On 28 December 2015, Dutch type designer and typographer Bram de Does (* 1934) passed away. Jan Middendorp (@DutchTypeJam) honoured him by posting a picture in which we see text handwritten by De Does. The text is a reply to a comment that Peter Matthias Noordzij made on the letter ‘k’ of a custom headline version of De Does’ Lexicon typeface. The reply is in Dutch, so I tried to translate it to English:
“I can understand that you find it [the letter ‘k’] ugly. I do not manage to find it really beautiful either, but still do not know what I could improve in it. I do not want to make the bottom serif on the right any wider; ‘k’ already leaves such a large gap on the right-hand side. I do not want to make the upper right-hand part extend more to the right because this would cause these white spaces [cf. picture] to differ so much. I do not want to lower the junction in the middle because the space labelled ‘b’ would become even smaller then. Do you have any ideas? I am checkmated.”
In the third, fourth and fifth sentence, De Does uses object-initial constructions in Dutch, which are difficult to render in English. A construction that uses left dislocation probably comes closest in English: ‘The junction, I don’t want to lower it’ – but that does not sound particularly natural to me.