This family was initially supposed to be a typeface based on the strong, flowing script Schlesinger liked to use in the ads he designed, particularly the ones he did for Van Houten’s cocoa products. But for technical reasons the Lettergieterij Amsterdam mandated the face to be made from unattached letters, rather than the original connected script.
Schlesinger and Dooijes finished the lowercase and the first drawings of the uppercase just before Schlesinger was sent to a prison camp in 1942. Dooijes completed the design on his own, and drew the bold according to Schlesigner’s instructions. The typeface family was finished in February of 1944, and Schlesinger was killed in October of that same year. Though he did see and approve the final proofs, he never actually saw his letters in use. It took almost four more years for the Lettergieterij Amsterdam to produce the fonts. The typeface was officially announced in November of 1948, and immediately became a bestseller. By 1966, according to a memo from the foundry, the typeface had become “almost too popular”.
This digital version of Schlesigner’s and Dooijes’s work greatly expands on the metal fonts. Both weights include a complete set of lowercase alternates — based on Schlesinger’s own drawings, as well as alternative variations for some of the capitals, a few ligatures, and extended language support covering Western, Eastern and Central European languages, plus Baltic, Celtic/Welsh, Esperanto, Maltese and Turkish.
Minuet is available in True Type and OpenType. The OpenType version, Minuet Pro, takes advantage of internal font programming to combine the main and alternate fonts into a single file per weight, making all alternates and ligatures automatically available at the push of a button in OpenType-supporting programs.