Hermann Zapf Essay

Hermann Zapf is considered one of the great lettering creative persons of modern times. Born in Nuremberg in 1918, Zapf was interested in engineering and scientific discipline early in his young person. He read voraciously to larn about innovations that changed the universe.

Zapf ‘s first raid into the universe of font design was an experiment in the 1930s when he developed a secret authorship system so that he and his brother could interchange private information. “It was some sort of cross between Germanic runic letters and Cyrillic and could merely be deciphered if you knew the codification, ” Zapf says. “That ‘s over 70 old ages ago now, and I suppose this secret authorship system constituted my first alphabetic creations.”

We will write a custom essay sample on
Hermann Zapf Essay
or any similar topic only for you
Order now

Zapf had wanted to go an electrical applied scientist, but the oppressive political clime in the early 1930s in Germany did non let him to analyze technology. He had to get down an apprenticeship in a exposure retoucher. His hunt for an apprenticeship led him to developing as a exposure retoucher in 1934.

In 1935, a memorial exhibition was held for Nuremberger Rudolf Koch, who had late died in 1934. Koch ‘s work heightened Zapf ‘s involvement in lettering. He bought books by Koch and the British inscription creative person Edward Johnston. Using the books for mention, Zapf taught himself penmanship utilizing a broad-edged pen.

When his learner maestro discovered Zapf ‘s gift for penmanship, he put the immature creative person to work retouching lettering. He was besides asked to better the work of his less able co-workers, frequently laboring tardily into the eventide.

After finishing his apprenticeship, Zapf went to Frankfurt and exhausted clip at a workshop run by Paul Koch ( boy of Rudolf Koch ) . Printing historian Gustav Mori introduced Zapf to Stempel and Linotype, where he designed his first printed font for the companies in 1938, the Gilgengart™.fraktur design.Page 2

On April 1, 1939, Zapf was called to military service. Unaccustomed to the asperities of military life, he developed bosom problem and was sent to a more suited office environment, where he wrote cantonment records and athleticss certifications alternatively of working in the trenches. He subsequently moved to the mapmaking unit, where his accomplishment with drawing and inscription helped him last. Zapf was captured by the Gallic and held captive near the terminal of World War II. His capturers, nevertheless, respected his artistic endowments and did non maltreat him or direct him to char mines in Northern France.

After the war ended, Zapf was sent place to Nuremberg, where he taught penmanship. In 1947, he was hired as the artistic caput of the in-house print store for D. Stempel AG, Frankfurt. He continued to learn penmanship and worked in book design for printing companies.

Zapf designed many fonts in the late fortiess and 1950s, including the Optima® and Palatino® font households. He continually honed his calligraphic accomplishments.

In the sixtiess, Zapf became interested the rapid alterations of the printing industry. His thoughts for streamlining production through computer-aided typesetting were scoffed in Germany. He turned to America ; and gave in 1964 his first talk on typographic computing machine plans at Harvard and was learning at the Rochester Institute of Technology from 1977 through 1987. Zapf became familiar with computing machines from contacts at IBM, Xerox and other hi-tech companies.

His involvement in engineering led to the digitisation of a calligraphic book from drawings in his 1944 sketch block. The terminal consequence, the Zapfino® type household launched from Linotype, has been designed with many stylistic surrogates and ligatures, doing usage of the advanced typesetting characteristics of the OpenType® fount format. The modernised book has become one of the most popular fonts in usage today.

Zapf has partnered with other pioneers over the old ages, including Aaron Burns, Herb Lubalin and the celebrated mathematician Donald Knuth. Zapf has worked for Microsoft, Stanford University, Hallmark Cards and many other clients. He has late collaborated extensively with Linotype ‘s type manager, Akira Kobayashi, in widening and re-explaining some of Zapf ‘s authoritative designs.

Hermann Zapf

Information about the fount interior decorator Hermann Zapf and his fonts.

Hermann Zapf was born into a disruptive clip in 1918 in Nuremberg, Germany. On the same twenty-four hours a worker ‘s and soldiers ‘ council took political control of the metropolis, Munich and Berlin were in revolution, and the undermentioned twenty-four hours Kaiser Wilhelm fled to Holland. In add-on to the political agitation, there was an epidemic of Spanish grippe which is estimated to hold killed some 20 million people. Zapf lost two of his siblings to the epidemic.

He joined the Karl Ulrich and Company printing house, as an learner, in 1934. After this apprenticeship he worked with Paul Koch in Frankfurt. During this period he gained experience of working with handpress type and bring forthing lettering for musical notation. However, his work was interrupted by the 2nd universe war and he worked as a map maker in the German military. After the war Zapf worked at the Stempel AG typefoundry as artistic manager.

In 1977 he was made Professor of Typographic Computer Programing at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York and his founts Palatino, Optima, Zapf Chancery, and Zapf Dingbats are now familiar designs found on all personal computing machines. Optima, Zapf ‘s personal front-runner fount, was selected for the etched names on the Vietnam War Memorial.

From his first font designed when he was merely 20 old ages old ( Gilgengart ) , through more than 200 others right up to the present twenty-four hours, Zapf ‘s work has achieved an odd popular success, while keeping an aesthetic degree which has earned him praise from professionals throughout the universe. Several of his most popular type designs, such as Palatino, Optima, ITC Zapf Chancery Italic, and, are resident on most place computing machines. Other founts, such as Michelangelo, Zapf International, and Zapf Renaissance – among legion others – are the pillar of many of the finest in writing interior decorators of today.

Hermann Zapf is married to the type interior decorator and lettering artist Gudrun Zapf von Hesse.

Hermann Zapf was born in Nuremburg, Germany in 1918.He designed some of the greatest typestyles of the twentieth century.His greatest inspiration came from Rudolph Koch ‘s work at an exhibition in Nuremberg in1935.Using texts from Koch and Edward Johnston he taught himself penmanship at home.In 1938 after his apprenticeship was completed he went to Frankfurt without a craftsman ‘s certification and found a place working for Paul Koch ( boy of Rudolph Koch ) at his workshop. It was in 1938 that he designed his first type called “ Gilgengart ” for the D. Stempel AG Type Foundry.

After the war the political clime was such that it was difficult to acquire work, particularly in teaching.He taught his first penmanship lesson in Nuremberg in 1946 and under crude conditions.In 1947 he went back to the Stempel Foundry as the caput of the inhouse printshop.In 1951 he met and married his married woman, Gudron von Hesse, besides a celebrated type interior decorator and calligraphist in her ain right.

His chief work over the old ages was as a in writing creative person involved in book design and out of rule did no advertisement art. Throughout the 1960 ‘s and 1970 ‘s he was a free-lance in writing designer.In 1972 he created the Macaroni font, designed specifically for digital use.During the 70 ‘s and 80 ‘s he taught ten old ages of particular Sessionss at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y..His most of import countries of expertness came in the development of different types, such as Palatino, Optim, Optima, Michaelangelo, Melior, Zapf Chancery, etc… , alphabets for hot metal composing, so for phototyping, and eventually the digital revolution.He was a mastermind in work outing proficient jobs along side applied scientists and provided a criterion of typographic excellence for the following coevals of type interior decorators.


Hermann Zapf ( born November 8, 1918 ) is a German font interior decorator who lives in Darmstadt, Germany. He is married to calligrapher and typeface interior decorator Gudrun Zapf von Hesse.

Zapf ‘s work has suffered the double-edged blade of fear, as his designs, which include Palatino and Optima, while widely admired, are possibly the most egregiously plagiarized of the 20th century. The best known illustration may be Monotype ‘s Book Antiqua, which shipped with Microsoft Office and was widely considered a “ clone ” of Palatino. In 1993, Zapf resigned from ATypI ( Association Typographique Internationale ) over what he viewed as its hypocritical attitude toward unauthorised copying by outstanding ATypI members.

Early life

Hermann Zapf was born in Nuremberg, into disruptive times, marked by the German Revolution in Munich and Berlin, the terminal of World War I, the expatriate of Kaiser Wilhelm, and the constitution of Bavaria as a free province by Kurt Eisner. In add-on, the Spanish Flu Pandemic took clasp of Europe in 1918 and 1919 and killed two of Zapf ‘s siblings. Famine subsequently struck Germany, and Zapf ‘s female parent was thankful to direct him to school in 1925, where he received day-to-day repasts in a plan organized by Herbert Hoover, who would subsequently go President of the United States. In school, Zapf was chiefly interested in proficient topics. One of his favourite books was the one-year scientific discipline diary Das neue Universum ( “ The New Universe ” ) . He and his older brother experimented with electricity, constructing a crystal wireless and an dismay system for his house. Even at his early age, Zapf was already acquiring involved with type, contriving ciphertext alphabets to interchange secret messages with his brother.

Zapf left school in 1933 with the aspiration to prosecute a calling in electrical technology. Unfortunately, his male parent had become unemployed. Zapf ‘s male parent experienced problem with the freshly established Third Reich, holding been involved with trade brotherhoods, and was sent to the Dachau concentration cantonment for a short clip.

Introduction to typography

Zapf was non able to go to the Ohm Technical Institute in Nuremberg, due to the new political government. Therefore, he needed to happen an apprenticeship. His instructors, aware of the new political troubles, noticed Zapf ‘s accomplishment in pulling and suggested that he go a lithographer. Each company that interviewed him for an apprenticeship would inquire him political inquiries, and every clip he was interviewed, he was complimented on his work but was rejected. Ten months subsequently, in 1934, he was interviewed by the last company in the telephone directory, and the company did non inquire any political inquiries. They besides complimented Zapf ‘s work, but did non make lithography and did non necessitate an learner lithographer. However, they allowed him to go a retoucher, and Zapf began his four-year apprenticeship in February 1934.

In 1935, Zapf attended an exhibition in Nuremberg in award of the late compositor Rudolf Koch. This exhibition gave him his first involvement in lettering. Zapf bought two books at that place, utilizing them to learn himself penmanship. He besides studied illustrations of penmanship in the Nuremberg metropolis library. Soon, his maestro noticed his expertness in penmanship, and Zapf ‘s work shifted to lettering retouching and betterment of his co-workers ‘ retouching work.


A few yearss after completing his apprenticeship, Zapf left for Frankfurt. He did non bear a craftsman ‘s certification and therefore would non be able to acquire a work license at another company in Nuremberg, as they would hold been able to look into on his makings. Zapf went to the “ Werkstatt Haus zum Fursteneck ” , a edifice run by Paul Koch, boy of Rudolf Koch. He spent most of his clip there working in typography and composing songbooks.

Through print historian Gustav Mori, Zapf came into contact with the type metalworkss D. Stempel AG and Linotype GmbH of Frankfurt. In 1938, he designed his first printed font for them, a fraktur type called Gilgengart.

War calling

On April 1, 1939, Zapf was conscripted and sent to Pirmasens to assist reenforce the Siegfried Line against France. Not used to the difficult labour, he developed bosom problem in a few hebdomads and was given a desk occupation, composing cantonment records and athleticss certifications in fraktur.

World War II broke out in September, and Zapf ‘s unit was to be taken into the Wehrmacht. However, due to his bosom problem, Zapf was non transferred to the Wehrmacht but was alternatively dismissed. But on April 1, 1942, he was summoned once more for the war attempt. Zapf had been chosen for the Luftwaffe, but alternatively was sent to the heavy weapon in Weimar. He did non execute good, confounding left and right during preparation and being excessively cautious and gawky with his gun. His officers shortly brought a premature terminal to his calling in the heavy weapon.

Zapf was sent back to the office, and so to Juterbog to develop as a map maker. After that, he went to Dijon and so Bordeaux, fall ining the staff of the First Army. In the mapmaking unit at Bordeaux, Zapf drew maps of Spain, particularly the railroad system, which could hold been used to transport heavy weapon had Francisco Franco non used narrow-gauge paths to mend Bridgess after the Spanish Civil War. Zapf was happy in the mapmaking unit. His seeing was so first-class that he could compose letters 1 millimetre in size without utilizing a magnifying glass, and this accomplishment likely prevented him from being commissioned back into the ground forces.

After the war had ended, Zapf was held by the Gallic as a captive of war at a field infirmary in Tubingen. He was treated with regard because of his graphics and, due to his hapless wellness, was sent place merely four hebdomads after the terminal of the war. He went back to Nuremberg, which had suffered great harm because of the air foraies.


Zapf taught penmanship in Nuremberg in 1946. He went back to Frankfurt in 1947, where the type metalworks Stempel offered him a place as artistic caput of their printshop. They did non inquire for makings, certifications, or mentions, but alternatively merely required him to demo them his sketch block from the war, and a calligraphic piece he did in 1944 of Hans von Weber ‘s “ Junggesellentext ” .

One of Zapf ‘s merchandises was a publication named “ Feder und Stichel ” ( “ Pen and Graver ” ) , printed from metal home bases designed by Zapf and cut by clout cutter August Rosenberger during the war. It was printed at the Stempel printshop in 1949.

From 1948 to 1950, Zapf taught penmanship at the Humanistic disciplines and Crafts School in Offenbach, giving lettering lessons twice a hebdomad to two categories of artworks pupils. In 1951 he married Gudrun von Hesse, who taught at the school of Stadel in Frankfurt.

Most of Zapf ‘s work as a in writing creative person was in book design. He worked for assorted publication houses, including Suhrkamp Verlag, Insel Verlag, Buchergilde Gutenberg, Hanser Verlag, Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, and Verlag Philipp von Zabern.

Type design

Zapf designed types for assorted phases of publishing engineering, including hot metal composing, phototypesetting ( besides called “ cold type ” ) , and eventually digital typography for usage in desktop publication. His two most celebrated fonts, Palatino and Optima, were designed in 1948 and 1952, severally. Palatino was designed in concurrence with August Rosenberger, with careful attending to item. It was named after 16th century Italian authorship maestro Giambattista Palatino. Optima, a flared sans-serif, was released by Stempel in 1958. Zapf disliked its name, which was invented by the sellers at Stempel.

Zapf was non given many occupations in penmanship. The largest 1 was composing out the Preamble to the United Nations Charter in four linguistic communications, commissioned by the Pierpont Morgan Library in 1960 for $ 1000.

Computer typography

Zapf has been working on typography in computing machine plans since the sixtiess. His thoughts were considered extremist, non taken earnestly in Germany, and rejected by the Darmstadt University of Technology, where Zapf lectured between 1972 and 1981. Because he had no success in Germany, Zapf went to the United States, where new thoughts were more likely to be accepted. He lectured about his thoughts in computerized typesetting, and was invited to talk at Harvard University in 1964. The University of Texas at Austin was besides interested in Zapf, and offered him a chair. However, Zapf ‘s married woman said that she would ne’er travel to Texas, holding merely seen it from the air, and Zapf ‘s dreams of Texas ended.

Because Zapf ‘s programs for the United States had come to nil, and because his house in Frankfurt had become excessively little, Zapf and his married woman moved to Darmstadt in 1972.

In 1976, the Rochester Institute of Technology offered Zapf a chair in typographic computing machine scheduling, the first of its type in the universe. He taught at that place from 1977 to 1987, winging between Darmstadt and Rochester. There he developed his thoughts further, with the aid of his connexions in companies such as IBM and Xerox, and his treatments with the computing machine specializers at Rochester. A figure of Zapf ‘s pupils from this clip at RIT went on to go influential type interior decorators, including Charles Bigelow and Kris Holmes, who together created the Lucida type household. Other outstanding pupils include calligrapher/font interior decorator Julian Waters and book interior decorator Jerry Kelly.

In 1977, Zapf and his friends Aaron Burns and Herb Lubalin founded a company called “ Design Processing International, Inc. ” in New York and developed typographical computing machine package. It existed until 1986 with the decease of Lubalin, and Zapf and Burns founded “ Zapf, Burns & A ; Company ” in 1987. Burns, besides an expert in font design and in typography, was in charge of marketing until his decease in 1992. Shortly before, two of their employees had stolen Zapf ‘s thoughts and founded a company of their ain.

Zapf knew that he could non run an American company from Darmstadt, and did non desire to travel to New York. Alternatively, he used his experience to get down development of a typesetting plan called the “ hz-program ” , constructing on the H & A ; J system in TeX.

During URW ‘s fiscal jobs and bankruptcy in the mid-1990s, Adobe Systems acquired the hertz patent ( s ) , and subsequently made some usage of the constructs in their InDesign plan.


Chief article: Zapfino

In 1983, Zapf had completed the font AMS Euler with Donald Knuth and David Siegel of Stanford University for the American Mathematical Society, a font for mathematical composing including fraktur and Grecian letters. David Siegel had late finished his surveies at Stanford and was interested in come ining the field of typography. He told Zapf his thought of doing a font with a big figure of glyph fluctuations, and wanted to get down with an illustration of Zapf ‘s penmanship, that was reproduced in a publication by the Society of Typographic Arts in Chicago.

Zapf was concerned that this was the incorrect manner to travel, and while he was interested in making a complicated plan, he was worried about get downing something new. However, Zapf remembered a page of penmanship from his sketch block from 1944, and considered the possibility of doing a font from it. He had antecedently tried to make a calligraphic font for Stempel in 1948, but hot metal composing placed excessively many bounds on the freedom of swash characters. Such a pleasing consequence could merely be achieved utilizing modern digital engineering, and so Zapf and Siegel began work on the complicated package necessary. Siegel besides hired Gino Lee, a coder from Boston, Massachusetts, to assist work on the undertaking.

Unfortunately, merely before the undertaking was completed, Siegel wrote a missive to Zapf, stating that his girlfriend had left him, and that he had lost all involvement in anything. Thus Siegel abandoned the undertaking and started a new life, working on conveying colour to Macintosh computing machines, and subsequently going an Internet design expert.

Zapfino ‘s development had become earnestly delayed, until Zapf found the bravery to show the undertaking to Linotype. They were prepared to finish it and reorganized the undertaking. Zapf worked with Linotype to make four alphabets and assorted decorations, flourishes, and other dingbats. Zapfino was released in 1998.

Later versions of Zapfino utilizing the Apple Advanced Typography and OpenType engineerings were able to do automatic ligatures and glyph permutations ( particularly contextual 1s in which the nature of ligatures and substituted glyphs is determined by other glyphs nearby or even in different words ) that more accurately reflected the fluid and dynamic nature of Zapf ‘s penmanship.

List of fonts

Zapf has created the undermentioned fonts:

* Aldus

* Aldus nova ( with Akira Kobayashi )

* AMS Euler

* Aurelia

* Comenius ( named after Czech theologian Jan Amos Komensky , aka Comenius ) [ 1 ]

* Edison

* Hunt Roman ( titling fount for the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation of Pittsburgh [ 2 ]

* Kompakt

* Marconi

* Medici Script

* Melior

* Michelangelo

* Noris Script

* Optima

* Optima nova ( with Akira Kobayashi, 2002 )

* Orion

* Palatino

* Palatino nova ( with Akira Kobayashi )

* Palatino sans ( with Akira Kobayashi, 2006 )

* Palatino sans informal ( with Akira Kobayashi, 2006 )

* Palatino Arabic ( with Nadine Chahine )

* Saphir

* Sistina

* Vario

* Venture

* ITC Zapf Book

* ITC Zapf Chancery

* ITC Zapf Dingbats

* ITC Zapf International

* URW Antiqua

* URW Grotesk [ 3 ]

* Zapf Necessities

* Zapf Renaissance Antiqua

* Zapfino

* Zapfino Extra


Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out