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Garamond // is the name given to a group of old-style serif typefaces named after the punch-cutter Claude Garamont (Latinised as garamondus) (c. 1480–1561). Many of the Garamond faces are more closely related to the work of a later punch-cutter, Jean Jannon. A direct relationship between Garamond’s letterforms and contemporary type can be found in the Roman versions of the typefaces Adobe Garamond, Granjon, Sabon, and Stempel Garamond.
Garamond’s letterforms convey a sense of fluidity and consistency. Some unique characteristics in his letters are the small bowl of the a and the small eye of the e. Long extenders and top serifs have a downward slope.
Garamond is considered to be among the most legible and readable serif typefaces for use in print (offline) applications. It has also been noted to be one of the most eco-friendly major fonts when it comes to ink usage.
When Claude Garamond died in 1561, his punches and matrices were sold to Christophe Plantin, in Antwerp, which enabled the Garamond fonts to be used by many printers. This version became popular in Europe.
Jean Jannon misattribution
In 1621, sixty years after Garamond’s death, the French printer Jean Jannon 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. After the French government raided Jannon’s printing office, Cardinal Richelieu named Jannon’s type Caractère de l’Université, and it became the house style of Royal Printing Office.
In 1825, the French National Printing Office adapted the type used by Royal Printing Office in the past, and claimed the type as the work of Claude Garamond. Beatrice Warde, writing for British typography journal The Fleuron, revealed that many of the revivals said to be based on Claude Garamond’s designs were actually designed by Jean Jannon; but the Garamond name had stuck.
Jannon-derived types are most immediately recognizable by the lowercase a, which has a long upper hook that extends slightly past the edge of the bowl; the bowl itself is smaller and more downward-pointing than those of Garamond. Other differences include the triangular serifs on the stems of such characters as m, n and r, which are more steeply inclined and concave in Jannon's design than in Garamond's.
Digital versions of Garamond's original face include Adobe Garamond and Garamond Premier (both designed by Robert Slimbach), Ludlow Garamond, Stempel Garamond and URW++ Garamond No 8. The typefaces Granjon and Sabon (designed by Jan Tschichold) are also classified as Garamond revivals.
Digital types derived from Jannon's design include Monotype Garamond, Simoncini Garamond, LTC Garamont, and Linotype Garamond 3. This grouping also includes a version called ITC Garamond, designed by Tony Stan (1917–1988) and released in 1977. The design of ITC Garamond, more than any other digital versions, takes great liberty with Garamond’s and Jannon's designs by following a formulary associated with the International Typeface Corporation (ITC), including an increase in the x-height; a wide range of weights, from light to ultra bold; and a condensed width, also in weights from light to ultra bold.
In Russian, two letters are visibly different from their original scripts. These are Д “de” and Л “el”. These are displayed (if italicised with the Garamond font) similar to the Alexander font. The characters of these letters in Garamond font are rendered as follows: Д (Cyrillic letter “de”), and Л (Cyrillic letter “el”). The letters are similar to the Greek Δ “delta” and Λ “lambda”, as the Cyrillic alphabet derived from the Greek alphabet.
In popular culture
Garamond is the name of a character in the Wii game Super Paper Mario. He appears in the world of Flopside (the mirror-image of Flipside, where the game begins). He is a prolific and highly successful author, unlike his Flipside counterpart, Helvetica (a probable recognition of the relative suitability of the two fonts for use in book typesetting).
- The large picture books of Dr. Seuss are set in a version of Garamond.
- In 1988 British newspaper The Guardian redesigned its masthead to incorporate "The" in Garamond and "Guardian" in bold Helvetica. This led to a repopularising of Garamond in the UK.
- Nvidia uses it in their scientific PDF documents.
- All of the American editions of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books are set in twelve-point Adobe Garamond, except Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which is set in 11.5-point Adobe Garamond because that book is longer.
- The popular Hunger Games trilogy is set in Adobe Garamond Pro, as is the Shiver trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater.
- The Everyman's Library publication of 'The Divine Comedy is set in twelve-point Garamond.
- A rare infant version—with single-story versions of the letters a and g—is available in the UK from DTP Types.
- A variation on the Garamond typeface was adopted by Apple in 1984 upon the release of the Macintosh. For branding and marketing the new Macintosh family of products, Apple's designers used the ITC Garamond Light and Book weights and digitally condensed them twenty percent. The result was not as compressed as ITC Garamond Light Condensed or ITC Garamond Book Condensed. Not being a multiple master font, stroke contrast in some characters was too light, and some of the interior counters appeared awkward. To address these problems, Apple commissioned ITC and Bitstream to develop a variant for their proprietary use that was similar in width and feeling, but addressed the digitally condensed version’s shortcomings. Designers at Bitstream produced a unique digital variant, condensed approximately twenty percent, and worked with Apple to make the face more distinct. Following this, Chuck Rowe hinted the TrueTypes. The fonts delivered to Apple were known as Apple Garamond.
- One of the initial goals of the literary journal Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern was to use only a single font: Garamond 3. The editor of the journal, Dave Eggers, has stated that it is his favorite font, "because it looked good in so many permutations—italics, small caps, all caps, tracked out, justified or not."
- Many O’Reilly Media books are set in ITC Garamond Light.
- The logo of clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch uses a variation of the Garamond typeface.
- Garamond text is used on 1985 Nintendo video game consoles in italic form (after the text "Nintendo Entertainment System" or NES) to describe the various version of the consoles.
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- Adobe Originals Adobe Garamond sample booklet
- Garamond at Microsoft Typography
- Just what makes a “Garamond” a Garamond?
- URW Fonts including GaramondNo8
- jGaramond: Free Garamond-based TrueType font (deprecated by the author)
- Garamond v Garamond | Physiology of a typeface
- Illuminating Letters #1: Garamond
- EB Garamond, a free variant under the Open Font License