Garamond – made the letter a living thing

800px-GaramondSpecimenA.svg

Little is known about the early life of France’s most distinguished type designer, though he is mentioned as being “at work” in the printing business early in the sixteenth century, Garamond was commissioned by the French monarch, Francis I, to cut a font of Greek letter which later became known as the “Royal Greek Type.”   An apprentice of France’s master typographer Geofroy Tory, Garamond eventually go to cutting his own punches and matrixes and came to be known by his contemporaries as the foremost type designer of his day.  During his most prolific period, he designed a large number of fonts, but his work has never been wholly classified.

He died in abject poverty in 1561: Garamond’s most significant contribution to his craft was in creating letters which could be considered as independent units; thus breaking away from the notion that type should be merely an adaptation of hand-written script. His elegant, spirited form finally freed typography from the Gothic influence which had prevailed since Gutenberg’s day.

1555 book from printer Andreas Wechel

 

Source

Sat, Apr 11, 1953 – 15 · National Post (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) · Newspapers.com

Wed, Jan 14, 1948 – Page 4 · The Wellsboro Gazette Combined with Mansfield Advertiser (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.com

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.