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ILGaramond - Will the Real Garamond Please Stand Up...

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G aramond fonts are nearly as plentiful as mosquitoes in August. There’s a version from International Typeface Corporation (ITC), a version developed for Adobe Systems, one produced by the Monotype foundry, another drawn for Simoncini and still another for Berthold. Linotype has two versions (three, if you count the Stempel Garamond design). And this doesn’t even take into account Garamond faces that use different names, such as the Sabon and Granjon ® designs. Will the “Real” Garamond Please Stand Up Since Claude Garamond made his first font more than 450 years ago in France, there have been so many versions of this typestyle that it’s a challenge to know them all without a full-scale database. In foundry type, machine-set type, phototype, and now in digital form, literally hundreds of Garamond designs have graced pages over the centuries. Big Family; Similar Traits Although there are many different Garamond typefaces, they are all descendants of the original 16th century design, and, like members of most families, they have similar traits. For example, character stroke-weight stress in every Garamond design is canted, with the heaviest parts at approximately the two and eight o’clock positions. Head serifs (those at the top of character strokes) look like little banners, and baseline serifs tend to be long, slightly cupped and (in most Garamond designs) have soft rounded ends. Another feature shared by virtually every Garamond face is the bidirectional serifs on the top of the capital T. (These serifs are a dead giveaway for spotting the design.) Garamond Family Tree In spite of these similarities, the Garamond family tree developed two distinct branches: one American and the other European. When Garamond died in 1561, his punches and matrices were sold to Christopher Plantin in Antwerp who, in turn, enabled the Garamond fonts to be used by many printers. These became the European branch of the family. ILLUMINATING LETTERS | NUMBER ONE | GARAMOND GARAMOND #3 ITALIC DISTINCTIVE GARAMOND TRAITS
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Typefaces on the American branch are ancestors of another but similar – design. During the 17th century, another French printer, Jean Jannon, designed a typeface that bore a strong resemblance to Garamond’s original designs. The punches and matrices for Jannon’s designs were stored for centuries at the French national printing office. In 1825, these punches reemerged and were mistakenly attributed to Claude Garamond. The first
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