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Garamond Premier

By Adobe

Claude Garamond (ca. 1480-1561) cut types for the Parisian scholar-printer Robert Estienne in the first part of the sixteenth century, basing his romans on the types cut by Francesco Griffo for Venetian printer Aldus Manutius in 1495. Garamond refined his romans in later versions, adding his own concepts as he developed his skills as a punchcutter. After his death in 1561, the Garamond punches made their way to the printing office of Christoph Plantin in Antwerp, where they were used by Plantin for many decades, and still exist in the Plantin-Moretus museum. Other Garamond punches went to the Frankfurt foundry of Egenolff-Berner, who issued a specimen in 1592 that became an important source of information about the Garamond types for later scholars and designers. In 1621, sixty years after Garamond's death, the French printer Jean Jannon (1580-1635) issued a specimen of typefaces that had some characteristics similar to the Garamond designs, though his letters were more asymmetrical and irregular in slope and axis. Jannon's types disappeared from use for about two hundred years, but were re-discovered in the French national printing office in 1825, when they were wrongly attributed to Claude Garamond. Their true origin was not to be revealed until the 1927 research of Beatrice Warde. In the early 1900s, Jannon's types were used to print a history of printing in France, which brought new attention to French typography and the Garamond" types. This sparked the beginning of modern revivals; some based on the mistaken model from Jannon's types, and others on the original Garamond types. Italics for Garamond fonts have sometimes been based on those cut by Robert Granjon (1513-1589), who worked for Plantin and whose types are also on the Egenolff-Berner specimen. Linotype has several versions of the Garamond typefaces. Though they vary in design and model of origin, they are all considered to be distinctive representations of French Renaissance style; easily recognizable by their elegance and readability.

Garamond Pemiere Pro was designed by Robert Slimbach, and released in 2005."

The story of Garamond Premier begins with a trip to Belgium. While developing the Adobe Garamond font family in 1994, designer Robert Slimbach went to Antwerp to view the punches and designs of Claude Garamond, the legendary type designer of the 16th century.

Impressed by the range of sizes in Garamond’s work, Slimbach decided to undertake a different approach to a modern Garamond from what was intended with Adobe Garamond. His new design would be based on these hand-cut models and supplemented with italics based on the work of Robert Granjon.

Given the prevalence of digital Garamonds on the marketplace, Slimbach’s Premier would be somewhat distinct for its grounding in Garamond’s original work; many Garamond revivals in recent decades had actually been based on the work of punchcutter Jean Jannon, whose work had been misattributed to Claude Garamond for hundreds of years.

Slimbach worked for over 10 years at the endeavor, finally releasing Garamond Premier in 2005. The resulting font family had a wide range of optical size variants and a full suite of OpenType features for use in Adobe InDesign®, Illustrator®, and Photoshop®.

References:
Adobe: Garmond
Typophile: Slimbach's New Garamond
Typophile: Our Favorite Typefaces of 2005

Garamond Premier is used by the Philadelphia Insurance Companies for certain design elements in its branding. It is also very popular amongst educational institutions. The University of Delaware has made it its official serif typeface and recommends it for use in all UD correspondence. The Yale University Press recently revamped their logo to feature Garamond Premier.

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