Blue Pencil no. 26—Zapfiana no. 4: The Typefaces of Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse

After completing Zapfiana no. 3 it seemed only right that Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse* (b. 1918), Hermann Zapf’s wife and a talented type designer in her own right, be given the same treatment. Unfortunately, the literature on her is much slighter than that on her husband. There is are only two sources of significant length, one that focuses on her alone and one on the two Zapfs; and then there is one slender publication about the both of them. None of these includes a Zapf-von Hesse bibliography or list of typefaces. Furthermore, as is detailed below, the information within these publications about her typefaces is often contradictory or fuzzy.

Diotima specimen (D. Stempel AG, c.1952)

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Calligraphic Type Design in the Digital Age: An Exhibition in Honor of the Contributions of Hermann and Gudrun Zapf
ed. John Prestianni
San Francisco: The Friends of Calligraphy, Inc. and Corte Madera: Gingko Press Inc., 2001

Includes “Calligraphy and Type Design: The Twentieth Century Quest for a Renewed Connection” by Jerry Kelly and “Bookbinding, Calligraphy and Type Design: Remarks and Musings About My Design Process” by Gudrun Zapf von Hesse

Gudrun Zapf von Hesse: Bucheinbände, Handgeschreibene Bücher, Druckschriften, Schriftanwendungen und Zeichnungen
Leipzig: Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Druckkunst, 2002
with an introduction by Hans A. Halbey

There is no list of typefaces in this book and the illustrations of Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse’s typefaces lack captions. The chronology of her life simply lists her typefaces as having been designed between 1951 and 1991.

Spend Your Alphabets Lavishly!: The Work of Hermann & Gudrun Zapf
Jerry Kelly
New York: The Typophiles and Rochester, New York: RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press, 2007

TYPEFACES
1940–1949

Hesse Antiqua (Bauersche Gießerei 1946–1947) F

A caps-only alphabet cut in brass for use in stamping or handtooling letters on bookbindings.

1950–1959
Diotima (D. Stempel AG 1948; 1951) F
Diotima-Kursiv (D. Stempel AG 1953) F
Ariadne-Initialen (D. Stempel AG 1953) F
Smaragd (D. Stempel AG 1954) F

The dating of Diotima, Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse’s most famous typeface (and arguably her best), seems to be a matter of confusion. Gudrun Zapf von Hesse’s essay in Calligraphic Type Design in the Digital Age gives a date of 1951 for the roman (pp. 31 and 34) and 1953 for the italic (p. 34). However, the captions to the Diotima images do not explicitly assign it a release date, though one provides a development date of 1948 (item 83, p. 79) for the roman. Neither of the other two works listed above gives a precise design or release date for Diotima. The Linotype GmbH website, Typography: An Encyclopedic Survey of Type Design and Techniques Throughout History (1998) and FontBook (2006) all say 1952; The Encyclopedia of Typefaces (1970, 4th ed.), Rookledge’s International Handbook of Type Designers (1991) and An A–Z of Type Designers (2006) all say 1954; and Wikipedia says 1955. None of these sources is entirely trustworthy. The Linotype GmbH website gives a dates of 1984 to Nofret, while Typography,  Rookledge and A–Z say Ariadne Initials are 1954. But A–Z dates Smaragd to 1953 and Ariadne Initials to 1954, while Typography claims Carmina is 1986 and Nofret is 1987. Normally, the date that the most sources agree on would be the most reliable—but not if multiple sources are all relying on one initial source, which I suspect is the case with Typography, Rookledge and A–Z.

1960–1969
Hallmark Shakespeare Roman (Hallmark Cards, Inc. 1968) P
Hallmark Shakespeare Italic (Hallmark Cards, Inc. 1968) P

1980–1989
Nofret Light (H. Berthold GmbH 1985; 1986) P
Nofret Light Caps (H. Berthold GmbH 1985; 1986) P
Nofret Light Italic (H. Berthold GmbH 1985; 1986) P
Nofret Regular (H. Berthold GmbH 1985; 1986) P
Nofret Regular Caps (H. Berthold GmbH 1985; 1986) P
Nofret Italic (H. Berthold GmbH 1985; 1986) P
Nofret Medium (H. Berthold GmbH 1985; 1986) P
Nofret Medium Italic (H. Berthold GmbH 1985; 1986) P
Nofret Bold (H. Berthold GmbH 1985; 1986) P
Nofret Bold Italic (H. Berthold GmbH 1985; 1986) P

Even Gudrun Zapf von Hesse is not reliable about the dates of her typefaces. In her essay in Calligraphic Type Design in the Digital Age (p. 32) she assigns Nofret a release date of 1987, yet a Berthold specimen (items 96 [p. 83] and 102 [p. 85]) in the book says 1986.

Bitstream Carmina Light (Bitstream Inc. 1986; 1987) D
Bitstream Carmina Light Italic (Bitstream Inc. 1986; 1987) D
Bitstream Carmina Medium (Bitstream Inc. 1986; 1987) D
Bitstream Carmina Medium Italic (Bitstream Inc. 1986; 1987) D
Bitstream Carmina Bold (Bitstream Inc. 1986; 1987) D
Bitstream Carmina Bold Italic (Bitstream Inc. 1986; 1987) D
Bitstream Carmina Black (Bitstream Inc. 1986; 1987) D
Bitstream Carmina Black Italic (Bitstream Inc. 1986; 1987) D

1990–1999
Christiana Normal
(H. Berthold GmbH 1991) D
Christiana Normal Caps (H. Berthold GmbH 1991) D
Christiana Kursiv (H. Berthold GmbH 1991) D
Christiana Halbfett (H. Berthold GmbH 1991) D
Christiana Kursiv Halbfett (H. Berthold GmbH 1991) D
Christiana Fett (H. Berthold GmbH 1991) D
Christiana Kursiv Fett (H. Berthold GmbH 1991) D

Alcuin Light (URW Type and Software GmbH 1989; 1991) D
Alcuin SC Light (URW Type and Software GmbH 1989; 1991) D
Alcuin Regular (URW Type and Software GmbH 1986–1989; 1991) D
Alcuin SC Regular (URW Type and Software GmbH 1989; 1991) D
Alcuin Bold (URW Type and Software GmbH 1989; 1991) D
Alcuin SC Bold (URW Type and Software GmbH 1989; 1991) D
Alcuin Extra Bold (URW Type and Software GmbH 1989; 1991) D
Alcuin SC Extra Bold (URW Type and Software GmbH 1989; 1991) D

Colombine Light (URW Type and Software GmbH 1989; 1991) D
Colombine Regular (URW Type and Software GmbH 1989; 1991) D
Colombine Medium (URW Type and Software GmbH 1989; 1991) D
Colombine Bold (URW Type and Software GmbH 1989; 1991) D

2000–2010
Diotima Classic (with Akira Kobayashi; Linotype GmbH 2008; 2009) D
Diotima Classic Light (with Akira Kobayashi; Linotype GmbH 2008; 2009) D
Diotima Classic Light Italic (with Akira Kobayashi; Linotype GmbH 2008; 2009) D
Diotima Classic Regular (with Akira Kobayashi; Linotype GmbH 2008; 2009) D
Diotima Classic Italic (with Akira Kobayashi; Linotype GmbH 2008; 2009) D
Diotima Classic Bold (with Akira Kobayashi; Linotype GmbH 2008; 2009) D
Diotima Classic Bold Italic (with Akira Kobayashi; Linotype GmbH 2008; 2009) D
Diotima Classic Heavy (with Akira Kobayashi; Linotype GmbH 2008; 2009) D
Diotima Classic Heavy Italic (with Akira Kobayashi; Linotype GmbH 2008; 2009) D

*in older literature her name is hyphenated but newer literature drops the hyphen and sometimes her maiden name as well.

REFERENCES
ABC of Lettering and Printing Types (vol. B)
Erik Lindegren
Askim, Sweden: Grafisk Studio, 1964–1965

The Encyclopedia of Typefaces
W. Pincus Jaspert, W. Turner Berry and A.F. Johnson
London: Blandford Press, 1970 (4th ed.)

Modern Encyclopedia of Typefaces 1960–1990
Lawrence W. Wallis
New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1990

Rookledge’s International Handbook of Type Designers: A Biographical Dictionary
Ron Eason and Sarah Rookledge
eds. Phil Baines and Gordon Rookledge
London: Sarema Press (Publishers) Ltd., 1991

Typography: An Encyclopedic Survey of Type Design and Techniques Throughout History
Friedrich Friedl, Nicolaus Ott and Bernard Stein
Köln: Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 1998

FontBook: Digital Typeface Compendium
eds. Mai-Linh Thi Truong, Jürgen Siebert and Erik Spiekermann
Berlin: FSI FontShop International, 2006

An A–Z of Type Designers
Neil Macmillan
New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2006