The ITC Giovanni™ font family was created by the noted designer Robert Slimbach and published by the International Typeface Corporation in 1986; the rights to the font were later purchased by Linotype. The font design was based on older, classical typefaces and given a modern edge for newspaper and magazine publication.
ITC Giovanni History
ITC Giovanni, a font produced by Robert Slimbach during a period of freelance work between 1985 and 1987 was inspired by the Renaissance faces cut by Francesco Griffo and Claude Garamond. These older faces had been re-drafted a large number of times because of their attractiveness and legibility; the various Garamond fonts created by print foundries in the early twentieth century and the Bembo fonts published in a similar fashion are examples of this type of rejuvenation.
Interestingly, despite the name, many Garamond typefaces - such as the Monotype Garamond™ font family – were not based on the original Garamond lettering. Instead, quite a number of the revival Garamond faces were based on letterforms created by the French printer Jean Jannon over a century after Garamond’s death. This mistaken identity resulted from centuries-earlier confusion between the original Garamond type and the alphabet later created by Jannon for his own printing press.
Slimbach wanted to try a different approach to the challenge of the Garamond influence. The resulting ITC Giovanni had a taller X height, shorter ascenders and descenders as well as lighter capitals. These qualities gave the font a modern – yet robust – appeal which made it instantly popular in the book publishing and design arenas.
ITC Giovanni Usage
The readability and overall appeal of the ITC Giovanni font has made it a firm design favorite for many applications including product packaging, book publishing and newspaper and magazine applications. There are many examples of ITC Giovanni in use today in the retail world and also in corporate identity.
A few examples of the typeface include the Simply Organic® spices range; both the logo and the product label are set in a combination of ITC Giovanni and the Sabon™ font family. The Australian wine company Pinelli uses the font family in its merchandising, as do the Gardener’s Therapies brand.