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    The newly independent Ireland (1922) saw a concerted effort to preserve and celebrate what was distinctly Irish in their culture, separate from the British elements that had come with political domination. In addition to Irish literature, there was a reinvigorated emphasis on the Irish Gaelic language, the use of which had been declining in the previous century in favor of English.

    Colm Ó Lochlainn (1892-1972) and his Three Candles Press exemplified this national pride. Ó Lochlainn collected and printed works of the Irish tradition – poems and songs for example. Dissatisfied with existing type used to print Gaelic, Ó Lochlainn designed a new typeface that he called Colum Cille.

    Ó Lochlainn rooted Colum Cille's letterforms in the medieval letters found in the manuscripts of the great Celtic tradition. Yet he also recognized the bilingual reality of modern Irish life, and designed additional glyphs to make the typeface usable for both Gaelic and English.

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