Zapf in May 2007
|Died||June 4, 2015 96) (aged|
|Known for||Aldus, Palatino, Optima, Zapfino|
|Spouse(s)||Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse|
|Children||Christian Ludwig Zapf (1955-2012)|
Hermann Zapf (German: [tsapf] ; November 8, 1918 – June 4, 2015) was a German type designer and calligrapher who lived in Darmstadt, Germany. He was married to the calligrapher and typeface designer Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse. Typefaces he designed include Palatino, Optima and Zapfino.
Type design is the art and process of designing typefaces. It is often used synonymously with the term "font design"; technically, font design is the rendering of a typeface design into an entire available family of keyboardable characters, while typeface design is the shaping of individual glyphs, albeit with an eye to the eventual incorporation as a font. For the purposes of this article, the term typeface design will include the design of fonts.
Calligraphy is a visual art related to writing. It is the design and execution of lettering with a broad tip instrument, brush, or other writing instruments. A contemporary calligraphic practice can be defined as "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious, and skillful manner".
Darmstadt is a city in the state of Hesse in Germany, located in the southern part of the Rhine-Main-Area. Darmstadt had a population of around 157,437 at the end of 2016. The Darmstadt Larger Urban Zone has 430,993 inhabitants.
Zapf was born in Nurembergduring turbulent times marked by the German Revolution of 1918–1919 in Munich and Berlin, the end of World War I, the exile of Kaiser Wilhelm, and the establishment of Bavaria as a free state by Kurt Eisner. In addition, the Spanish flu pandemic took hold in Europe in 1918 and 1919. Two of Zapf's siblings died of the disease. Famine later struck Germany, and Zapf's mother was grateful to send him to school in 1925, where he received daily meals in a program organized by Herbert Hoover. In school, Zapf was mainly interested in technical subjects. One of his favorite books was the annual science journal Das neue Universum ("The New Universe"). He and his older brother experimented with electricity, building a crystal radio and an alarm system for his house. Even at this early age, Zapf was already getting involved with type, inventing cipher alphabets to exchange secret messages with his brother.
Nuremberg is the second-largest city of the German federal state of Bavaria after its capital Munich, and its 511,628 (2016) inhabitants make it the 14th largest city in Germany. On the Pegnitz River and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it lies in the Bavarian administrative region of Middle Franconia, and is the largest city and the unofficial capital of Franconia. Nuremberg forms a continuous conurbation with the neighbouring cities of Fürth, Erlangen and Schwabach with a total population of 787,976 (2016), while the larger Nuremberg Metropolitan Region has approximately 3.5 million inhabitants. The city lies about 170 kilometres (110 mi) north of Munich. It is the largest city in the East Franconian dialect area.
Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,723,914 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, which is, with 6,004,857 (2015) inhabitants and an area of 30,370 square km, Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.
World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.
Zapf left school in 1933 with the ambition of pursuing a career in electrical engineering. However, his father had become unemployed and was in trouble with the newly established Third Reich, having been involved with trade unions,and was sent to the Dachau concentration camp for a short time.
Electrical engineering is a professional engineering discipline that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. This field first became an identifiable occupation in the later half of the 19th century after commercialization of the electric telegraph, the telephone, and electric power distribution and use. Subsequently, broadcasting and recording media made electronics part of daily life. The invention of the transistor, and later the integrated circuit, brought down the cost of electronics to the point they can be used in almost any household object.
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
Dachau concentration camp was the first of the Nazi concentration camps opened in 1933, intended to hold political prisoners. It is located on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory northeast of the medieval town of Dachau, about 16 km (10 mi) northwest of Munich in the state of Bavaria, in southern Germany. Opened by Heinrich Himmler, its purpose was enlarged to include forced labor, and eventually, the imprisonment of Jews, German and Austrian criminals, and eventually foreign nationals from countries that Germany occupied or invaded. The Dachau camp system grew to include nearly 100 sub-camps, which were mostly work camps or Arbeitskommandos, and were located throughout southern Germany and Austria. The camps were liberated by U.S. forces on 29 April 1945.
Under the new political regime, Zapf was not able to attend the Ohm Technical Institute in Nuremberg, and therefore he needed to find an apprenticeship. His teachers, aware of the new political difficulties, noticed Zapf's skill in drawing and suggested that he become a lithographer. Each company that interviewed him for an apprenticeship would ask him political questions, and every time he was interviewed, he was complimented on his work but was rejected. Ten months later, in 1934, he was interviewed by the last company in the telephone directory, and the company did not ask any political questions. They also complimented Zapf's work, but did not do lithography and did not need an apprentice lithographer. However, they allowed him to become a retoucher, and Zapf began his four-year apprenticeship in February 1934.
Lithography is a method of printing originally based on the immiscibility of oil and water. The printing is from a stone or a metal plate with a smooth surface. It was invented in 1796 by German author and actor Alois Senefelder as a cheap method of publishing theatrical works. Lithography can be used to print text or artwork onto paper or other suitable material.
In 1935, Zapf attended an exhibition in Nuremberg in honor of the late typographer Rudolf Koch. This exhibition gave him his first interest in lettering. Zapf bought two books there, using them to teach himself calligraphy. He also studied examples of calligraphy in the Nuremberg city library. Soon, his master noticed his expertise in calligraphy, and Zapf's work shifted to retouching lettering and improving his colleagues' retouching.
Rudolf Koch was a German type designer. He was also a master of lettering, calligraphy, typography and illustration. Commonly known for his typefaces created for the Klingspor Type Foundry, his most widely used typefaces include Neuland and Kabel.
A few days after finishing his apprenticeship, Zapf left for Frankfurt. He did not bear a journeyman's certificate and thus would not be able to get a work permit at another company in Nuremberg, as they would not have been able to check on his qualifications. Zapf went to the Werkstatt Haus zum Fürsteneck, a building run by Paul Koch, son of Rudolf Koch. He spent most of his time there working in typography and writing songbooks.
Frankfurt is a metropolis and the largest city of the German federal state of Hesse, and its 746,878 (2017) inhabitants make it the fifth-largest city of Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne. On the River Main, it forms a continuous conurbation with the neighbouring city of Offenbach am Main, and its urban area has a population of 2.3 million. The city is at the centre of the larger Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region, which has a population of 5.5 million and is Germany's second-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr Region. Since the enlargement of the European Union in 2013, the geographic centre of the EU is about 40 km (25 mi) to the east of Frankfurt's central business district. Like France and Franconia, the city is named after the Franks. Frankfurt is the largest city in the Rhine Franconian dialect area.
A journeyman is a skilled worker who has successfully completed an official apprenticeship qualification in a building trade or craft. Journeymen are considered competent and authorized to work in that field as a fully qualified employee. They earn their license by education, supervised experience and examination. Although journeymen have completed a trade certificate and are allowed to work as employees, they may not yet work as self-employed master craftsmen.
A work permit is the permission to take a job within a foreign country. It may also be a permit given to minors allowing them to work legally under child labor laws. Within an industry, a work permit may be required to execute certain functions within a factory outside normal operational tasks — in some places they might be called Permit to Work (PTW).
Through print historian Gustav Mori, Zapf came into contact with the type foundries D. Stempel, AG, and Linotype GmbH of Frankfurt. In 1938, he designed his first printed typeface for them, Gilgengart, a fraktur.
On April 1, 1939, Zapf was conscripted and sent to Pirmasens to help reinforce the Siegfried Line against France. As a consequence of hard labor, he developed heart trouble in a few weeks and was given a desk job, writing camp records and sports certificates in Fraktur.
World War II broke out in September, and Zapf's unit was to be taken into the Wehrmacht. However, because of his heart trouble, Zapf was not transferred to the Wehrmacht but was instead dismissed. On April 1, 1942, he was summoned again for the war effort. Zapf had been chosen for the Luftwaffe, but instead was sent to the artillery in Weimar. He did not perform well, confusing left and right during training and being too cautious and clumsy with his gun. His officers soon brought an unusually early end to his career in the artillery.
Zapf was sent back to the office and then to Jüterbog to train as a cartographer. After that, he went to Dijon and then Bordeaux, joining the staff of the First Army. In the cartography unit at Bordeaux, Zapf drew maps of Spain, especially the railway system, which could have been used to transport artillery had Francisco Franco not used narrow-gauge tracks to repair bridges after the Spanish Civil War. Zapf was happy in the cartography unit. His eyesight was so good that he could write letters 1 millimeter in height without using a magnifying glass, and this skill probably prevented him from being commissioned back into the army.
After the war had ended, Zapf was held by the French as a prisoner of war at a field hospital in Tübingen. He was treated with respect because of his artwork and, on account of his poor health, was sent home only four weeks after the end of the war. He went back to Nuremberg, which had suffered great damage in air raids.
Zapf taught calligraphy in Nuremberg in 1946. He returned to Frankfurt in 1947, where the type foundry Stempel offered him a position as artistic head of their printshop. They did not ask for qualifications, certificates, or references, but instead only required him to show them his sketchbooks from the war and a calligraphic piece he did in 1944 of Hans von Weber's "Junggesellentext".
One of Zapf's projects was the book Feder und Stichel ("Pen and Graver"), printed from metal plates designed by Zapf and cut by the punchcutter August Rosenberger during the war. It was printed at the Stempel printshop in 1949.
From 1948 to 1950, Zapf taught calligraphy at the Arts and Crafts School in Offenbach, giving lettering lessons twice a week to two classes of graphics students. On August 1, 1951 he married Gudrun von Hesse, who taught at the school of Städel in Frankfurt.
Most of Zapf's work as a graphic artist was in book design. He worked for various publishing houses, including Suhrkamp Verlag, Insel Verlag, Büchergilde Gutenberg, Hanser Verlag, Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, and Verlag Philipp von Zabern.
Zapf's career in type design spanned the three most recent stages of printing: hot metal composition, phototypesetting (also called cold type), and digital typesetting. His two most famous typefaces, Palatino and Optima, were designed in 1948 and 1952, respectively.Palatino was designed in conjunction with August Rosenberger, with careful attention to detail. It was named after the 16th-century Italian writing master Giambattista Palatino. It became better known after it became one of the core 35 PostScript fonts in 1984, bundled with virtually all PostScript devices from laser printers to imagesetters. Optima, a flared sans-serif, was released by Stempel in 1958. Zapf intended the design to bridge serifs and sans serifs and to be suitable for both headings and continuous passages of text.
Zapf's work reached into a range of genres. While Palatino and Optima are warm, organic designs inspired by Italian Renaissance calligraphy, printing and stonecarving, he also designed a number of serif text fonts, such as Melior, in the more austere, classical style, following the work of the great German neoclassical printer Justus Erich Walbaum.His sans serif series URW Grotesk was designed for newspaper use and presents a wide range of widths and weights, reminiscent of geometric sans serif fonts like Futura but in a more eccentric style. Several of his more geometric designs, like both of these, make use of superellipses, squarish designs incorporating a slight curve. Opinion on Zapf's later designs has not always been favourable: Maxim Zhukov remembered his contemporary Adrian Frutiger commenting, with reference to URW Grotesk, that Zapf was "not a sans-serif man" at a conference in 1990, and graphic designer Dan Margulis commented on a retrospective that "he participated in the 1980s trend toward faces with very large x-heights and tight letterfits; his major works in that genre, Zapf Book and Zapf International, have deservedly been forgotten... you would have to say that his historical standing will be based on the first ten years of his professional career."
Zapf's later releases for Linotype in the 1990s and 2000s, often created in collaboration with Akira Kobayashi, were radical reformations of his previous work, often removing compromises that had been necessary in the manufacture of metal type. In this period he created Palatino Sans, a more informal modulated sans serif than Optima.
Zapf's typefaces have been widely copied, usually but not always against his will. The best-known example may be Monotype's Book Antiqua, which was included in Microsoft Office and is often considered an imitation of Palatino. In 1993, Zapf resigned from ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale) over what he viewed as its hypocritical attitude toward unauthorized copying by prominent ATypI members. At a 1994 conference of the Raster Imaging and Digital Typography association in Darmstadt, Germany, a panel discussion on digital typefaces and designers' rights strongly criticized the alleged plagiarism of Zapf's Palatino, while several Microsoft attendees listened in the audience. In 1999, Microsoft worked with Zapf and Linotype to develop a new, authorized version of Palatino for Microsoft, called Palatino Linotype.
Sometimes, however, Zapf worked with a font maker to make new versions of his existing typefaces created for another company. For example, in the 1980s Zapf worked with Bitstream to make versions of many of his prior typefaces, including Palatino, Optima and Melior, all with "Zapf" in their new names.
Though his calligraphy is considered superb by calligraphers, Zapf did not work extensively as a calligrapher. His largest calligraphic project was the "Preamble to the United Nations Charter", written in four languages, commissioned by the Pierpont Morgan Library in 1960, for which he received $1000.
Zapf worked on typography for computer programs from the 1960s onwards. His ideas were considered radical, not taken seriously in Germany, and rejected by the Darmstadt University of Technology, where he lectured from 1972 to 1981. Because he had no success in Germany, Zapf went to the United States, where he lectured about computerized typesetting, and was invited to speak at Harvard University in 1964. The University of Texas at Austin was also interested in Zapf and offered him a professorship, which he did not take, because his wife opposed a move to that state.
Because Zapf's plans for the United States had come to nothing, and because their house in Frankfurt had become too small, Zapf and his wife moved to Darmstadt in 1972.
In 1976, the Rochester Institute of Technology offered Zapf a professorship in typographic computer programming, the first of its kind in the world. He taught there from 1977 to 1987, flying between Darmstadt and Rochester. There he developed his ideas further, with the help of his connections in companies such as IBM and Xerox and his discussions with computer specialists at Rochester. A number of Zapf's students from this time at RIT went on to become influential type designers, including Kris Holmes and Charles Bigelow, who together created the Lucida type family. Other prominent students include the calligrapher and type designer Julian Waters and the book designer Jerry Kelly.
In 1977, Zapf and his friends Aaron Burns and Herb Lubalin founded Design Processing International, Inc., in New York and developed typographical computer software.It existed until 1986, when Lubalin died. Zapf and Burns founded Zapf, Burns & Company in 1987. Burns, also an expert in typeface design and typography, was in charge of marketing until his death in 1992. Shortly before, two of their employees had stolen Zapf's ideas and founded a company of their own.
Zapf knew that he could not run an American company from Darmstadt and did not want to move to New York. Instead, he used his experience to begin the development of a typesetting program, the "Hz-program", building on the hyphenation and justification system in TeX.
During financial problems and bankruptcy of URW++ in the mid-1990s, Adobe Systems acquired the Hz patent(s) and later made some use of the concepts in their InDesign program.
In 1983, Zapf completed the typeface AMS Euler with Donald Knuth and graduate students in Knuth's and Charles Bigelow's digital typography program at Stanford University, including students Dan Mills, Carol Twombly, and David Siegel and Knuth's computer science Ph.D. students Scott Kim and John Hobby, for the American Mathematical Society. Euler digital font production was eventually finished by Siegel as his M.S. thesis project in 1985. Euler is a typeface family for mathematical composition including Latin, fraktur and Greek letters. After Siegel finished his studies at Stanford and was interested in entering the field of typography, he told Zapf his idea of making a typeface with a large number of glyph variations and wanted to start with an example of Zapf's calligraphy, which had been reproduced in a publication of the Society of Typographic Arts in Chicago.
Zapf was concerned that this was the wrong way to go, and while he was interested in creating a complicated program, he was worried about starting something new. However, Zapf remembered a page of calligraphy from his sketchbook from 1944 and considered the possibility of making a typeface from it. He had tried to create a calligraphic typeface for Stempel in 1948, but hot metal composition placed too many limits on the freedom of swash characters. Such a pleasing result could only be achieved using modern digital technology, and so Zapf and Siegel began work on the complicated software necessary. Siegel also hired Gino Lee, a programmer from Boston, Massachusetts, to work on the project.
Unfortunately, just before the project was completed, Siegel wrote a letter to Zapf, saying that his girlfriend had left him and that he had lost all interest in anything. Thus Siegel abandoned the project and started a new life, working on bringing color to Macintosh computers and later becoming a website design expert.
The development of Zapfino had become seriously delayed until Zapf presented the project to Linotype. The company was prepared to complete it and reorganized the project. Zapf worked with Linotype to create four alphabets and various ornaments, flourishes, and other dingbats. Zapfino was released in 1998.
Later versions of Zapfino using the Apple Advanced Typography and OpenType technologies were able to make automatic ligatures and glyph substitutions (especially contextual ones, in which the nature of ligatures and substituted glyphs is determined by other glyphs nearby or even in different words), to more accurately reflect the fluid and dynamic nature of Zapf's calligraphy.
Zapf died on June 4, 2015, at the age of 96 in Darmstadt, Germany.
Zapf designed the following typefaces:
Zapf starred in the film The Art of Hermann Zapf, produced in 1967 at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Missouri, and in Zapf's design studio in Dreieichenhain, Germany. He was also featured in the 2007 documentary Helvetica, by Gary Hustwit.
Palatino is the name of an old-style serif typeface designed by Hermann Zapf, initially released in 1949 by the Stempel foundry and later by other companies, most notably the Mergenthaler Linotype Company.
Optima is a humanist sans-serif typeface designed by Hermann Zapf and released by the D. Stempel AG foundry, Frankfurt, Germany.
In typography and lettering, a sans-serif, sans serif, gothic, or simply sans letterform is one that does not have extending features called "serifs" at the end of strokes. Sans-serif fonts tend to have less line width variation than serif fonts. In most print, they are often used for headings rather than for body text. They are often used to convey simplicity and modernity or minimalism.
Gill Sans is a sans-serif typeface designed by Eric Gill and released by the British branch of Monotype from 1928 onwards.
Adrian Frutiger was a Swiss typeface designer who influenced the direction of type design in the second half of the 20th century. His career spanned the hot metal, phototypesetting and digital typesetting eras. Until his death, he lived in Bremgarten bei Bern.
Antiqua ) is a style of typeface used to mimic styles of handwriting or calligraphy common during the 15th and 16th centuries. Letters are designed to flow and strokes connect together in a continuous fashion; in this way it is often contrasted with Fraktur-style typefaces where the individual strokes are broken apart. The two typefaces were used alongside each other in the germanophone world, with the Antiqua–Fraktur dispute often dividing along ideological or political lines. After the mid-20th century, Fraktur fell out of favor and Antiqua-based typefaces became the official standard.
AMS Euler is an upright cursive typeface, commissioned by the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and designed and created by Hermann Zapf with the assistance of Donald Knuth and his Stanford graduate students. It tries to emulate a mathematician's style of handwriting mathematical entities on a blackboard, which is upright rather than italic. It blends very well with other typefaces made by Hermann Zapf, such as Palatino, Aldus and Melior, but very badly with the default TeX font Computer Modern. All the alphabets were implemented with the computer-assisted design system Metafont developed by Knuth. Zapf designed and drew the Euler alphabets in 1980–81 and provided critique and advice of digital proofs in 1983 and later. The typeface family is copyright by American Mathematical Society, 1983. Euler Metafont development was done by Stanford computer science and/or digital typography students; first Scott Kim, then Carol Twombly and Daniel Mills, and finally David Siegel, all assisted by John Hobby. Siegel finished the Metafont Euler digitization project as his M.S. thesis in 1985.
Zapfino is a calligraphic typeface designed for Linotype by typeface designer Hermann Zapf in 1998. It is based on an alphabet Zapf originally penned in 1944. As a font, it makes extensive use of ligatures and character variations.
A swash is a typographical flourish, such as an exaggerated serif, terminal, tail, entry stroke, etc., on a glyph. The use of swash characters dates back to at least the 16th century, as they can be seen in Ludovico Vicentino degli Arrighi's La Operina, which is dated 1522. As with italic type in general, they were inspired by the conventions of period handwriting. Arrighi's designs influenced designers in Italy and particularly in France.
Apple's Macintosh computer supports a wide variety of fonts. This support was one of the features that initially distinguished it from other systems.
Hz-program was a proprietary, patented typographic composition computer program, created by German typeface designer Hermann Zapf. The goal of this program was "to produce the perfect grey type area without the rivers and holes of too-wide word spacing."
Gudrun Zapf von Hesse is a German typographer, calligrapher and book-binder. She is the 1991 winner of the Frederic W. Goudy Award. She has also designed several fonts.
Rick Cusick is an American lettering artist, calligrapher, type designer and book designer.
ITC Zapf Chancery is a family of script typefaces designed by the type designer Hermann Zapf. It is one of the three typefaces designed by Zapf that are shipped with computers running Apple's Mac OS. It is one of the core PostScript fonts.
Evert Bloemsma (1958–2005) was a Dutch type designer and graphic designer. In 1981 he graduated from the Hoogeschool voor de Kunsten in Arnhem. He taught typography at the Breda academy AKV St. Joost and at ArtEZ.
D. Stempel AG was a German typographic foundry founded by David Stempel (1869–1927), in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Many important font designers worked for the Stempel foundry, including Hans Bohn, Warren Chappell, F. H. Ehmcke, Friedrich Heinrichsen, Hanns Th. Hoyer, F. W. Kleukens, Erich Meyer, Hans Möhring, Hiero Rhode, Wilhelm Schwerdtner, Herbert Thannhaeuser, Martin Wilke, Rudolf Wolf, Victor Hammer, Hermann Zapf, and Gudrun Zapf von Hesse. With the introduction of Memphis in 1929, the foundry was the first to cast modern slab serif typefaces.
In typography, Erbar or Erbar-Grotesk is a sans-serif typeface in the geometric style, one of the first designs of this kind released as type. Designer Jakob Erbar's aim was to design a printing type which would be free of all individual characteristics, possess thoroughly legible letter forms, and be a purely typographic creation. His conclusion was that this could only work if the type form was developed from a fundamental element, the circle. Erbar-Grotesk was developed in stages; Erbar wrote that he had originally sketched out the design in 1914 but had been prevented from working on it due to the war. The original version of Erbar was released in 1926, following Erbar's "Phosphor" titling capitals of 1922 which are very similar in design.
Diotima is a serif typeface designed by Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse and published by Stempel.
URW Grotesk is a large sans-serif typeface family designed by Hermann Zapf for URW in the mid-1980s.