Typographic Character Forms 11


Hello everybody, I would like you to meet Garamond, a popular old-style serif typeface. The story of Garamond begins in 16th century Europe with a type designer named Claude Garamond. Garamond (the man) was commissioned by the French king Francis I to create a typeface for a series of books by Robert Estienne. When Claude Garamond passed in 1561 his type punches and matrices were sold off to the Plantin Press. This allowed Garamond’s fonts to flourish in printed materials throughout France and Europe.

The typeface we know and use today is altered and more asymmetrical than the original created by Garamond himself. These alterations first took place in the early 17th century by a French painter named Jean Jannon. Following a government raid of Jannon’s printing office, his version of the typeface soon became the house style of the Royal Printing Office and was called Caractère de’lUniversité. During the early 19th century, the French National Printing Office adapted the Jannon typeface, but labeled it the work of Claude Garamond.

Garamond (the typeface) experienced a revival in the 20th century. At the 1900 Paris World Fair Jean Jannon’s typeface was introduced as “Original Garamond.”  In 1919 the first 20th century redesign of the typeface was created by Thomas Maitland Cleland and Morris Fuller Benton, and was called Garamond #3. Throughout the 20th century modern versions of Garamond surfaced most notably with the onset of computers and desktop publishing. These versions are generally preceded in name for their creator or foundry – Adobe, Monotype, Simoncini and Stemple are common versions of Garamond. The typefaces called Granjon and Sabon are also considered Garamond revivals.

Notable usage of Garamond in recent decades can be seen in the original typsetting of the popular Dr. Suess children’s books, most of the Harry Potter series books, Nvidia, Inc.’s spec sheet documentation, Adobe Systems branding during the 1990’s, and Apple Computer’s Macintosh branding from 1984 through 2001.

typographic character forms 11

Todays design is done using Adobe Garamond Regular. I chose the lowercase ‘g,’ the numerical character ‘3’ and the pound sign (#) to represent Garamond #3 (g#3). About the color scheme, browns are not really my favorite colors but I chose to use them more or less to face my fears and work with something that I am not comfortable with. Since I was so long winded on the history of the typeface I will just leave you with that for today.

See you all tomorrow!
Sean

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2 thoughts on “Typographic Character Forms 11

  1. Thank you, I’m glad you like the design. I tend to know basic origins on some typefaces but most of the in-depth commentary is researched prior to writing my post description. I’m schooling myself as I go, which is part of this project’s intent for me.

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