The Stempel Garamond™ font family was released in 1925 by D. Stempel AG, its design based on the Egenolff-Berner specimen of 1592. Therefore, unlike some of the other Garamond variations in use today, the Stempel Garamond font is a genuine revival of Garamond’s original typeface.
Stempel Garamond History
There is a common misconception which still abides today regarding Garamond typefaces: that all Garamond types were based on the typefaces cut by Claude Garamond in the sixteenth century. In fact, the Garamond label is quite often a misnomer, as many of the Garamond fonts in existence today were in fact modeled after a later contributor to the world of type: Jean Jannon.
Jannon, an engraver by trade, was born in 1580 in Switzerland – exactly one century after Garamond and nineteen years after the famous publisher’s death. His typographic life began after he decided to create his own type to avoid having to have an alphabet shipped from Paris or Germany which at that time was quite difficult. His existing type was also wearing out; a brand new typeface was finished around 1615, based on the Garamond of the previous century.
Thus, the confusion around Garamond and Jannon began. Misidentification of the Jannon type as Garamond’s work, while flattering, was later proven inaccurate. Therefore the many Garamond variations in existence today are often based on Jannon or are a typographical hybrid of the Jannon/Garamond types.
However, the Stempel Garamond font was based on a 1592 Garamond specimen by printer Egenolff-Berner, so the inspiration for it was indeed the original engraver and not Jannon. The Monotype Garamond™ font family, released three years earlier (1922) is an example of a Jannon-based typeface.
Stempel Garamond Usage
The many users of Garamond include the Nvidia corporation, who employ the font for their PDF science publications. The 1985 Nintendo games console used an italic variant of the font after the NES text to describe the individual console types.
DTP Types – a British foundry – have produced an Infant version of Garamond, though it is hard to find. The Dr Seuss books are set in Garamond, as are all of the American versions of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. In fact, the Garamond type is an extremely popular font for print and has been since its original conception almost five hundred years ago.
In 1984, the growing Apple computer company prepared to launch a range of computers known as the Macintosh. They would require marketing material production and after a number of attempts at manipulating the existing Garamond font, Apple commissioned ITC and Bitstream to create a condensed version for corporate use. The result was a font which kept the attractive characteristics of the original Garamond, while delivering the versatility necessary. The font delivered to Apple was named Apple Garamond.
Apple used the font in its marketing until the early 00’s, when a gradual shift to the Myriad™ font family took place.