Farewell, Evert Bloemsma (1958–2005)

Written by Stephen Coles on April 23, 2005

Evert Late last year I began a correspondence with Evert Bloemsma in which he announced changes to his newly launched website and graciously accepted the comments I sent in reply. His enthusiasm was contagious. His work — FF Balance, FF Cocon, FF Avance, FF Legato (TDC05 winner and one of our favorites) — had become increasingly advanced and usable over time. It felt like he was just getting started.

Mr. Bloemsma died last week at age 47. It’s a massive loss for original type design.

See also: Interview with Jon Coltz : EB Discusses FF Legato : Typophiles Discuss FF Avance : Obit from Erik Spiekermann and Jan Middendorp : Thoughts from Bart van der Griendt, a Student


  1. A great loss indeed. I’d only just discovered his work and been using Legato and Balance non-stop for the last few months (Balance currently graces all my stationary and collateral and website). In my humble opinion, he leaves a brilliant legacy.

  2. Bart says:

    A great loss indeed. I was fortunate enough to be his student since september – his graceful attempts at teaching first year students in Graphic Design the love of letters I will remember with the sadness of things that go by.

  3. I’ve just realized that Legato is probably the first un-serifed typeface calling for the immersive reading experience required in a book.

    Whenever people (publishers, designers, end-users) will stop considering a Garamond the only choice, Legato will probably be the most serious competitor for classic text faces.

    Why these things take sad events like the death of the author to get my attention? Well, I guess I should consider it as a farewell gift from Evert Bloemsma, and an invitation to keep in mind his great line of research.

  4. Hrant says:

    What a great, sad loss. His closer friends will feel the most grief, but to loose such a gentle giant in the field pains me a lot. I wish his family strength in coping with such an early loss.

    The torch is now for us to carry. Study Legato. Study it, study it, study it – with a cool intellect and a warm heart, just like Evert worked. To honor him, build on it, although we could never make what he would have.


  5. Tubby says:

    There are lovely memorials appearing for Mr. Bloemsma which carry such force in their wording that you know they’re true, even if you did not know the man. He certainly had a positive impact on people!

    Reading them I had a thought, even though I know not all my thoughts deserve daylight: Wouldn’t it be a wonderful memorial to the respected dead if, every time a loved or admired person dies for whom we want to structure some praise, we also took a moment to pay someone living a well-deserved compliment? We compose them too late for the dead. (Of course, the compliment to the living will need to be more brief, so as not to embarrass them.)

    If I live long enough to lose 500 friends or heroes, that’ll be 500 pleasures given still-living friends and heroes I had not intended to spread until I saw how much this man’s friends and associates liked and admired him.

    Hope this isn’t too maudlin or off-topic. It is in no way critical of the attention being paid the memory of this fine man who seems to have really meant so much to those who knew him. I certainly now want to know more about his work and will go off to study whatever catalog or other displays of his faces I can find.

  6. Down10 says:


    This is dreadful news, and it is a true loss to the field of typography. Bloemsma’s creations are amazing; it’s hard to believe that he was so skilled at his age and it will be hard to accept that he is gone. He leaves a wonderful legacy of type creations that have yet to be discovered by the graphic design community at large.

    I had an idea for a half-rounded serif typeface a year ago or so, and Evert’s FF Cocon not only looks similar, but vastly more refined and professional — I am but a pretender to the throne!

  7. barry says:

    If he took his Powerbook with him to heaven and he’s able to read this: Evert, we zullen ons best doen op de opdracht mooi af te maken. Groeten van de hele klas.

  8. I still can’t believe it. I’ve got in touch with Mr. Bloemsma a few weeks ago to further develop the type I’ve been waiting for since 25 years: the FF LEGATO. It was such great experience for me to see how Mr. Bloemsma not only accepted my critical view toward the Legato but also to see him working overtime to offer me a Semi Light version which I use since then in most of my new projects. I will continue using this font – not only as a dear memory of Mr. Bloemsma, but – foremost – because this his work is probably the most intelligent type development in the last 25 years.

  9. HD says:

    Whoa. I briefly spoke with Evert durng the last Typo in Berlin about bicycles, of all things. Great and very very kind, relaxed guy bearing with my rather hung-over and over-fatigued state of mind:-D. What a shame. Best wishes to his friends and families.

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