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Stempel Garamond™

By Linotype

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.

First released by D. Stempel AG in 1925, Stempel Garamond™ was based on the Egenolff-Berner specimen of 1592 and was therefore a revival of the genuine Garamond types. It is one of the most famous Garamond interpretations, and since its introduction in 1925, it has been one of the most frequently used text fonts. Stempel Garamond has its own unique temperament, with a rhythm and sharpness that set it apart from other Garamonds. Stempel Garamond™ is available in several weights with small caps, Old style Figures, and Central European characters.

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.

Linotype: Just What Makes A “Garamond” a Garamond?

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.

Old Style Serif