Skip to main content

Zapfino® Extra

By Linotype

Hermann Zapf

The Zapfino Extra® font family is a calligraphic masterpiece based on a 1944 alphabet penned by the renowned typographer and graphic artist Hermann Zapf. With its many varying glyphs and bold, flowing style, the Zapfino Extra design emulates the style one would expect from the work of an experienced calligrapher.


The original Zapfino® font family was produced as a result of a Stamford University graduate, David Siegel, coming to Zapf in the early nineteen-eighties with an interest in typeface creation: specifically in the inception of a font with many different glyph variations. Although initially skeptical, Zapf agreed to work with the young designer, providing a war-era workbook filled with a beautifully inscribed alphabet. Unfortunately the project was later put on hold indefinitely because of a change in plans by Siegel, who subsequently went on to practice web design instead of type design.

Thankfully, the Zapfino design was completed in 1998 when a collaborative effort between Zapf and Linotype allowed work to recommence.

In 2003, Zapf and type designer Akira Kobayashi began reworking the original Zapfino designs, subsequently creating the Zapfino Extra typeface family. Utilizing OpenType technology meant that the new typeface boasted the ability to “make decisions” about which glyphs to use in the textual context of any sentence. This ability only served to heighten the sense of freedom in the font, finally fulfilling Zapf’s original dream of creating a flowing, intelligent and stunning calligraphic typeface.

The Zapfino Extra design’s glorious array of available variances (there are sometimes over ten different variations of any given lowercase letter) and intelligent glyph substitution system make it one of the most desirable fonts available.

The lyrical quality of the type lends itself well to traditional subjects such as wedding invitations, but also to package design and advertising.

#56 in Best Sellers