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Claude Garamond

Description

Claude Garamond – born c. 1480 in Paris, France, died 1561 in Paris, France – type founder, publisher, punch cutter, type designer.


  • 1510: trains as a punch cutter with Simon de Colines in Paris.
  • 1520: trains with Geoffroy Tory.
  • 1530: Garamond’s first type is used in an edition of the book "Paraphrasis in Elegantiarum Libros Laurentii Vallae" by Erasmus. It is based on Aldus Manutius’ type De Aetna, cut in 1455.
  • 1540: King Francis I commissions Garamond to cut a Greek type. Garamond’s ensuing Grec du Roi is used by Robert Estienne in three sizes exclusively for the printing of Greek books.

From 1545 onwards: Garamond also works as a publisher, first with Pierre Gaultier and later with Jean Barbe. The first book he published is "Pia et Religiosa Meditatio" by David Chambellan. The books are set using typefaces designed by Garamond. After Garamond’s death, Christoph Plantin from Antwerp, the Le Bé type foundry and the Frankfurt foundry Egenolff-Bermer acquire a large proportion of Garamond’s original punches and matrices. The typefaces Garamond produced between 1530 and 1545 are considered the typographical highlight of the 16th century. His fonts have been widely copied and are still produced and in use today.

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