About this font family
Gundrada ML was inspired by the lettering on the tomb of Gundrada de Warenne. She was buried at Southover Church at Lewes, Sussex, in the south of England in 1085. The Latin inscription on her tomb, STIRPS GUNDRADA DUCUM, meaning “Gundrada, descendant of the Duke” may have led to the speculation that she was the daughter of William, Duke of Normandy and bastard son of Robert the Devil of Normandy and Arletta, daughter of a tanner in Falaise. In 1066 William defeated Harold at the Battle of Hastings and was crowned William I of England. More commonly known as William the Conquerer, he commissioned a string of forts around the kingdom and charged trusted Norman Barons to control the contentious Anglo-Saxon population. William de Warenne, husband of Gundrada, was one of these Barons. More…
There has also been the suggestion that Gundrada may have been the daughter of William’s wife, Matilda of Flanders, by a previous marriage. According to the Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, Oxford, England 1921-22), both of these contentions are in dispute. Searching the past of a thousand years ago is like wandering in a heavy fog: facts are only dimly in view. Regardless, I know that I found these letterforms immediately engaging in their simplicity. Unadorned and unsophisticated, they have a direct honesty that rests well in the company of humanistic sans serifs like Franklin Gothic or Gill Sans, appealing to a contemporary sensibility.
The lettering on the tomb is in upper case only. Although Gundrada does not sound Norman French to me, her husband certainly and her father probably were Norman French. Nonetheless, the man that carved her tombstone was probably Anglo-Saxon, like most of the people. For that reason, we are quite comfortable with a fairly generic lower case from an Anglo-Saxon document of the time. The time was a time of transition, of contending language influences. This font reflects some of that tension.
1. Multi-Lingual Font with 389 glyphs and 698 Kerning Pairs.
2. OpenType GSUB layout features: onum, dlig, liga, salt & hist.
3. Tabular Figures and Alternate Old-Style Figures.
4. Alternate Ruled Caps (line above and below, matching to brackets).
5. Central Europe, Western Europe, Turkish and Baltic Code Pages.
6. Additional accents for Cornish and Old Gaelic.
7. Stylistic alternates A, E, y and #.
8. Ligatures ST, Th, fi and fl.
9. Historic alternate longs.
The zip package includes two versions of the font at no extra charge. There is an OTF version which is in Open PS (Post Script Type 1) format and a TTF version which is in Open TT (True Type)format. Use whichever works best for your applications.