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Janson® Text

By Linotype

The Hungarian punchcutter Miklos Kis designed and cut this typeface in about 1685 while working in Amsterdam. It was not cut by Anton Janson, a Dutch punchcutter who worked in Leipzig in the seventeenth century. For many years this typeface was wrongly attributed to Janson, and the font still erroneously bears his name. Some of the Kis punches and matrices made their way to D. Stempel AG in Frankfurt in 1919. Linotype Janson was cut in 1954 under the supervision of Hermann Zapf, and was based on the original Kis punches. Werner Schimpf and Reinhard Haus from the D. Stempel AG Design Studio worked together with the internal designers the most recent expansion of Janson in 1985. Now a versatile family of eight weights, this version of Janson Text is the most authentic digital version of the Kis types. With its legible, sturdy forms and strong stroke contrast, Janson Text? has proved very successful for book and magazine text, and it continues to appear in the ranks of bestselling types.

Janson Text® has taken its name from a Dutch type designer by the name of Anton Janson, a punchcutter from the late 17th century who was around at the same time as the actual typeface cutter, Miklós (Nicholas) Tótfalusi Kis who had travelled to Amsterdam in 1680 to work under Dirk Voskens. How the typeface ended up named after Anton Janson – a typographer who had nothing to do with this typeface at all and worked in Leipzig is a mystery.

In 1919, some of Kis’ matrices and punches were recovered and used at the Frankfurt-based Stempel AG foundry to revive the Janson typeface. The recovery of the Kis matrices inspired Chauncey H Griffith of the Mergenthaler Linotype Foundry to re-issue the typeface known at the time simply as “Janson” as Janson Text. In the 1950’s, Stempel Foundry’s Hermann Zapf produced a metal cut which was the basis for the modern digital version of Janson Text created in 1985 by Prof. Horst Heiderhoff of the Linotype Design Studio. Heiderhoff expanded the Janson family of fonts to extend it to its current eight weights and gave the Janson font family its current name: Janson Text.


Architectural Digest uses Janson Text® in the body text of all its articles. The Office of Publications and Alumni Communication from the University of Missouri use Janson Text in their logo. Janson Text™ is a very popular typeface for books and magazine publications of all types and has been the typeface of choice for many bestselling books.