Blue Pencil no. 20—Zapfiana no. 1: About More Alphabets

Title page spread, About More Alphabets (2011). Typography by Jerry Kelly.

About More Alphabets
Jerry Kelly and Robert Bringhurst
Rochester: The Typophiles and RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press, 2011
Typophile Chap Book New Series no. 3
112 pp.
4.5 x 7 in.

[updated 7 December 2012 to reflect corrections pointed out by Jerry Kelly]

Hermann Zapf (b. 1918), widely considered to be one of the preeminent type designers of the 20th century, has continued to design new typefaces and revise earlier ones in the 21st century. His career has spanned four technologies of type making, beginning with Gilgengart—a fraktur designed in 1939 and cut a year later by punchcutter August Rosenberger (but not issued until 1949)—and culminating (for the moment) with Virtuosa Classic—a revision of his Virtuosa I (1952) and II (1953), designed with the help of Akira Kobayashi, issued in 2009. Zapf’s longevity and fecundity has led in the past three decades to a mini-industry of books chronicling and celebrating his calligraphy, type design and typography. Between 1984 and 1993 five books were published in his honor (four of them major) and since 2000 eight more have followed along with a CD-ROM. The two books reviewed here, More About Alphabets by Jerry Kelly and What Our Lettering Needs by Rick Cusick, are the most recent, having been issued in late 2011. (Last year also saw the release of Kelly’s The Art of the Book in the Twentieth Century which featured Zapf among its eleven profiled book designers.)

About More Alphabets by Jerry Kelly is Typophile Chap Book New Series No. 3, a companion to About Alphabets: Some Marginal Notes on Type Design (1960) which was Typophile Chap Book no. 37. That book was Hermann Zapf’s autobiography in type, the first look back at his career as a type designer, deftly intertwined with his life story up to that time. The book, designed by Zapf, is set entirely in 9 pt Didot Optima (no other weights and italics used only for book titles and foreign words) with changes in content between discussions of type design and his career indicated solely by shifts in leading. About Alphabets is a quiet tour de force—and a reminder that Optima, so sorely abused today, was developed by Zapf as a text face.

Title page spread, About Alphabets (1960). Typography by Hermann Zapf.

About Alphabets was revised and reissued in paperback a decade later by The MIT Press. Whereas the original Typophiles edition covered most of Zapf’s career designing metal typefaces—from Gilgengart to Narrow Linotype Aldus and its italic (1960)—the new book added the type designs he made during the tumultuous 1960s when metal type was shoved aside by photocomposition. They included designs for both technologies beginning with the release in 1963 of Hunt Roman (designed 1961–1963) in metal and the Linofilm version of the Palatino family (roman, italic and bold; all designed in 1962) and ending in 1969 with the release of three photocomposition faces, Linofilm Venture (designed between 1960 and 1967), Optima Medium Italic (designed between 1963 and 1966) and Hallmark Textura (designed 1968–1969). While Optima Medium Italic was an extension of the film version of the Optima family originally designed for metal, the other two faces were entirely new designs, though only Venture was available commercially.

Hermann Zapf: Ein Arbeitsbericht Herausgegeben von der Lehrdruckerei der Technischen Hochschule Darmstadt (1984), edited by Walter Wilkes for the Maximilian-Gesellschaft in Hamburg, and Hermann Zapf and His Design Philosophy (1987), published by the Society of Typographic Arts in Chicago, updated Zapf’s type design oeuvre through the 1970s and 1980s, but since then the flood of Zapfiana has not included any further updates, let alone the comprehensive survey of his career that is desperately needed. Certainly there has been nothing on a par with the monumental Adrian Frutiger Typefaces: The Complete Works (2008). Although the title About More Alphabets suggests that the new Typophile chapbook might fill this void, it turns out to be a much more modest book, one that is ultimately unsatisfying.

Jerry Kelly, the author and designer of About More Alphabets, is probably the foremost Zapfologist today. He studied calligraphy with Zapf at Rochester Institute of Technology and has been a close friend since. Kelly provided advice to Zapf on Hermann Zapf and His Design Philosophy, contributed essays to ABC-XYZapf: Fifty years in alphabet design (1989) and Calligraphic Type Design in the Digital Age: An Exhibition in Honor of the Contributions of Hermann and Gudrun Zapf (2001), edited (and co-designed with Zapf) The Fine Art of Letters: The Work of Hermann Zapf (2000), and authored and designed both Spend Your Letters Lavishly! (2007) and Manuale Zapficum (2008). He has also lectured extensively about Zapf. If anyone could write a definitive survey of Zapf’s work as a type designer it should be him.

About More Alphabets was sparked by a talk that Kelly gave to the Double Crown Club in London in 2009. “The Typophiles’ first chapbook on Zapf’s work, About Alphabets from 1960, dealt with most of his metal typefaces,” Kelly writes, “while this volume of nearly five decades later considers a few of his major alphabet design projects since then over a period of phenomenal change in the way letterforms are reproduced.” (p. 11). He goes on to say that such a small book cannot possibly cover the over 200 fonts that Zapf has done in his career: “…if we devoted just a paragraph or two to each it would take several hundred pages just to touch on this body of work. Instead, this book will concentrate on several seminal types: not necessarily the most important—or most popular—of Zapf’s fonts, but just a few that are representative of his work in the field of alphabet design.” (pp. 12–13). There are two problems with these statements: The first is that this new book did not need to cover Zapf’s entire career as a type designer—however desirable that would be—but only the period following the publication of About Alphabets. That would have reduced the number of typefaces to discuss to under 150; and an average of two paragraphs for each would have taken up no more than 75 pages, making such a survey easily doable within the restricted confines of the Typophiles chapbook format. The second is that, despite his intent to discuss only a few of Zapf’s major type designs since 1960, Kelly ends up reprising much of his pre-1960 career as well as commenting on nearly all of his post-1960 typefaces. (The only ones he does not mention, even in passing, are Hallmark Uncial (1970), Medici Script (1971), Scriptura (1972), Arno (1972), URW Antiqua (1985–1986), Palatino nova Sans (2005), Palatino Arabic (2007) and Virtuosa Classic (2009)—but Medici Script, Palatino nova Sans and Palatino Arabic are all included in the type specimens at the back. On the other hand, many of the typefaces that Kelly touches upon in the text are missing from the specimen section of the book. Only twenty-eight fonts are displayed, though some of those (e.g. Venture (1969), Hallmark Textura (1969) and Noris Script (1976)) are noted only briefly.

Kelly spends the first third of About More Alphabets (pp. 13–45) on Zapf’s life and career before 1960. Other than new images of some of the typefaces—early sketches of Palatino (1948), Melior (c. 1949) and Michelangelo (c.1950), proofs of the first trial cutting of Aldus (no date given), an undated drawing for the little known Magnus Sans, and a 1958 pencil sketch of Optima—this is largely ground already trod by Zapf himself in the original About Alphabets. Kelly adds little new information about the typefaces, though he does explain how business interests prevailed in the decision to cut Aldus solely in sizes below 14 pt Didot. The businessmen saw it as a competitor, not a companion, to its progenitor Palatino (p. 34). Kelly believes this is why Aldus, a better face than Palatino for bookwork in his opinion, never had great success in the United States and England. Some of his information contradicts that given in About Alphabets. For instance, although Zapf only mentions the first trial letters (1957) and trial matrices (1959) of Magnus Sans in the text, his list of typefaces indicates that Magnus Sans was released in 1960. However, Kelly correctly says the type was never released (p. 45), though he does not say why.

The second third of About More Alphabets (pp. 45–82) surveys Zapf’s type designs from 1960 to 2005. He separates this period into two halves with 1980 as the rough dividing line. In the first half Zapf grappled with the shift from metal to film and then to digital. He was a pioneer in the latter area. In the second half Kelly argues that Zapf devoted himself to “unusual challenges in alphabet design” (p. 65). Kelly breaks down Zapf’s work in the 1960s and 1970s into two groups: “a] new designs created specifically or [sic] modern typesetting equipment; and b] adaptations of earlier designs made for metal casting to the newer computerized technologies.” (pp. 45–46). The second group included modifications of his most famous typefaces—Palatino, Optima and Melior—to make them suitable for photocomposition and, later, digital composition. Kelly summarizes the changes that needed to be made thusly:

“1] some extension of letter parts to overhang (or kern, in the metal sense of the term), an aspect which was not possible in Linotype composition;

“2] a slight ‘heavying up’ of the design, particularly the thins and serifs, because in metal types these areas were drawn lighter, since they would gain a little weight through ‘ink squeeze’ when the ink on the surface of the type was pressed into the paper. By contrast, in photo composition [sic] type actually lost a little weight when transferred to film, then plate, and then printed, so weight was added to compensate for these losses;

“3] sharpening of the edges, again to compensate for deterioration during the photographic process; and

“4] other changes, including taking the opportunity to revise some design elements which had re-thought in the intervening years.” (pp. 46–47)

Unfortunately, he does not delve into these changes, especially those that fall into the fourth category. Of Palatino he simply says that “it was the most changed when adapted for photocomposition.” (p. 47) He explains that the OpenType overhaul of both Palatino and Optima was occasioned by the opportunity to supplement their character sets as well as adjust individual letterforms. Kelly writes that “…large font sets were very difficult in metal type and with early computer-aided composition, but today Zapf has the opportunity to add such items [accents, alternates, ligatures, swash letters, Greek and Cyrillic characters] to his popular alphabet designs.” (p. 78). Although he mentions updated drawings for Palatino and its siblings Aldus, Michelangelo and Sistina—all of which have been subsumed as part of the Palatino nova family with Michelangelo and Sistina being rechristened respectively Palatino nova Titling and Palatino nova Imperial—he does not go into specifics.  About Optima nova Kelly does say that the original italic, a sloped roman or oblique, was scrapped in favor of an italic with a greater slope (15° as compared to 12°) but he makes no note that several characters were redesigned to be more truly cursive. He also points out that the Optima nova family now includes “a handsome titling alphabet with many ligatures and alternate forms” as well as oldstyle figures and small caps (p. 79). The addition of a condensed roman in five weights goes unremarked.

Kelly does provide more insight into several other typefaces, most notably those for the International Typeface Corporation (ITC) and Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell, AMS Euler (designed 1980–1981; released 1983) commissioned by Stanford mathematician Donald Knuth for the American Mathematical Society, Zapfino (1998), and the OpenType redesigns of the Optima and Palatino families in 2002 and 2005 respectively. His discussion of the differences between ITC Zapf Book and ITC Zapf International is right on target. “Zapf International has a similar underlying structure to Zapf Book,” he writes, “but its rendering is entirely in the opposite direction: whereas Zapf Book has extremely sharp edges and ink traps that can hold up to the rigors of photographic character reproduction, with International Zapf [sic?] has intentional over-round edges and curved junctures where strokes meet. In a way it takes the photographic distortion of letters and pushes it even further. These round interstices might also be seen as reflecting the natural effect of pen-written letters, where the ink pools slightly at the joins when it is wet.” (p. 56) He also rightly points out that two of Zapf’s least known roman typefaces, Comenius Antiqua (designed 1972–1973; released 1976 by Berthold GmbH) and Marconi (designed 1973; released 1976 by Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell), are among his best. Marconi was “the very first alphabet designed specifically for digital character generation” (as opposed to digital versions of hot metal faces), making it a milestone in the history of typography. Comenius Antiqua is less revolutionary but is still, as Kelly says, a design that deserves wider use (p. 54). He himself has used it to set About More Alphabets.

Spread from About More Alphabets (2011). Typography by Jerry Kelly. Text face is Comenius Antiqua. The illustration on p. 64 is of letters cut up from Zapf’s broadside quoting T.J. Cobden-Sanderson on “The whole duty of calligraphy…” and reused as the basis for Zapf Renaissance Italic (Scangraphic, 1987).

Given his longtime admiration for Zapf it is not surprising that Kelly avoids saying anything negative about any of the typefaces designed by Zapf. His praise for Zapf’s designs is fulsome. Moreover, it tends to be repetitive. He describes Aldus as “one of the most beautiful and all-around useful of Zapf’s text type designs” (p. 31); Comenius Antiqua “as a very handsome and all-round useful design” (p. 54); and Zapf Renaissance Roman and Italic as “among the most elegant and all-around useful of Zapf’s later digitial typeface designs” (p. 63). Virtuosa I and II (p. 42), ITC Zapf Chancery (p. 59) and Optima nova Titling (p. 79) are all called “handsome” while Gilgengart and Novalis are both “lovely” (p. 26). Many of Zapf’s typefaces deserve such encomiums, but not all of them are brilliant or even beautiful. Zapf has had his duds just like every other type designer. (I would nominate ITC Zapf Chancery, Digiset Vario and Aurelia as among his lesser achievements.)

One of the key themes of Zapf’s career has been his anger over and vocal opposition to type piracy. Kelly addresses this in several places in his narrative. “Around 1960 Zapf was becoming increasingly frustrated with the appropriation of his type designs by other manufacturers without compensation,” Kelly writes. “The new phototype technologies meant that virtually anyone with a camera and a little knowledge could easily copy an existing typeface (compared to the days of metal type, when extensive infrastructure was required for producing a new font, and associated costs were high).” (p. 48). There is no doubt that by the 1970s Zapf was upset at seeing his type designs copied without remuneration, but it is highly unlikely that his frustration began as early as 1960 (1). Photocomposition was still in its infancy at that time. Commercial acceptance of the Monophoto Filmsetter did not occur until 1957 and the first production models of the Linofilm, Mergenthaler Linotype’s entry into the field, were not ready until 1959. Several of the companies most often accused of type piracy were barely in existence: the Visual Graphics Corporation, makers of the Typositor, was established in 1959 and Compugraphic Corporation was formed in 1960. Other phototype manufacturers emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, though many did not last long: Crosfield Electronics Ltd. (1961), Alphanumeric, Inc. (1962; parent of Autologic, Inc., 1970), RCA (1965; replaced by Information International Inc., 1971), Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell (1965), IBM (1967), Singer Graphic Systems (1970), Bobst Graphic Systems (1972), Varisystems Corporation (1972), MGD Graphic Systems (1972), Itek (1974), Wang Laboratories Inc. (1979), and others. Furthermore, there is no mention of type piracy in the various talks that Zapf gave in the 1960s on the effect of photocomposition and computers on type design and typography. The earliest text on the subject is “New Typeface Designs in the Shadow of Protection”, his address to the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress in 1974 (see Hermann Zapf and His Design Philosophy, pp. 78–83). As Kelly notes, the talk was part of a concerted effort by American type manufacturers, spearheaded by Aaron Burns of International Typeface Corporation and Mike Parker of Mergenthaler Linotype, to convince the Congress of the United States to include typefaces in the revised Copyright Act then under consideration. Zapf went on to campaign loudly against type piracy in the 1970s and 1980s. (See his 1977 talk at Baruch College in New York entitled, “A Plea for Authorized Type Designs” in Hermann Zapf and His Design Philosophy, pp. 48–49.)

In the 1960s, according to Kelly and others, Zapf designed no new commercial typefaces. They have interpreted this as a withdrawal from type design on his part, a protest against the loss of income due to his typefaces being copied. “It would be staggering to calculate Zapf’s loses [sic] due to this thievery,” states Kelly (p. 50). But Zapf was not commercially inactive during the decade. He revised and extended Palatino, Optima and Melior for the Linofilm between 1962 and 1969; and designed three new faces for photocomposition, Venture (1967; released 1969), Medici Script (1969; released 1971) and Orion (1963–1971; released 1974). Kris Holmes and Allan Haley attribute Zapf’s ostensible re-entry into the world of type design to the formation of ITC by Aaron Burns, Herb Lubalin and Ed Rondthaler in 1970. Kelly seconds that theory but includes Hallmark Cards in the equation. “Two companies in the United States worked to prevent such abuses [type piracy],” Kelly says. “Hallmark Cards commissioned and copyrighted exclusive type designs for their corporate use, and later International Typeface Corporation (ITC)… came up with a new model for trademarking and licensing of typeface designs that proved quite successful.” (p. 50). But Zapf’s work for Hallmark began well before the 1970s.

During his seven-year association with Hallmark Zapf designed nine typefaces for the greeting card company: Hallmark Jeannette Script (1966–1967), Hallmark Firenze (1967–1968), Hallmark Textura (1968–1969), Hallmark Uncial (1969–1970), Missouri (1970–1971), Scriptura (1968–1972), Arno (1972; roman caps to accompany Firenze, a chancery cursive), and Crown Roman and Italic (1969–1972). (Three additional “phantom” typefaces, as Rick Cusick styles them, are frequently included in Zapf’s oeuvre. Formed by combining capitals from one font and the lowercase from another they are: Hallmark Winchester (Hallmark Uncial and Hallmark Textura), Hallmark Charlemagne (Hallmark Uncial and Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse’s Shakespeare) and Hallmark Stratford (Hallmark Textura and Shakespeare).) Kelly briefly describes Jeannette Script, Firenze, Hallmark Textura and Hallmark Crown Roman and Italic. He does not explain, though, how Hallmark succeeded in copyrighting the exclusive faces that Zapf designed for them when American copyright law excluded type designs.

ITC’s business model was ingenious. The company was established in 1970 by Aaron Burns (formerly of The Composing Room, a well-known New York type shop), Ed Rondthaler (founder of Photo-Lettering, Inc.) and famed graphic designer Herb Lubalin. Unlike other type companies, it did not make and sell typesetting equipment. Instead, ITC commissioned and manufactured artwork for typefaces which was then licensed to type companies for adaptation to their equipment and subsequent sale to their customers (principally type houses and printers). They all bore the prefix ITC as a guarantee of authenticity—with the exception of the firm’s very first typefaces that were labeled LSC because they came from the studio of Lubalin, Smith and Carnase.

The typefaces were manufactured at Photo-Lettering and many of them were designed by the company’s staff letterers, including Ed Benguiat and Tony Stan. But soon ITC was commissioning typefaces from European designers, among them Zapf, who were induced to cooperate by the promise of royalties on the sale of their typefaces in addition to an upfront design fee. To convince type manufacturers to license ITC typefaces and designers to order them from the type houses, ITC created a house organ called U&lc (Upper- and lowercase) (2) with Lubalin as editorial and design director. U&lc contained articles on a wide range of graphic design topics that went beyond type, typography and lettering. Each article was set in a different ITC face, each of which was identified in a credit at the bottom of the page. Although it had a nominal price of $2, the magazine was distributed free to anyone who asked for a copy.

Lubalin’s editorial direction and design made U&lc a must-read among graphic designers. At the peak of its popularity it had an international circulation of 250,000 copies. Graphic designers and advertising agencies began clamoring for ITC faces so they could create work as trendy as Lubalin’s. They badgered their type houses who, in turn, pressed the various type manufacturers. The manufacturers succumbed to the pressure and licensed the typefaces from ITC since it was easier than copying the face illegally. Thus, legitimate versions of typefaces were available on a wide variety of machines—whether from Mergenthaler Linotype, Monotype, Compugraphic, Alphatype, Berthold or whoever—which made customers happy. Type designers received royalties which made them happy. Type piracy was not vanquished but ITC’s approach, which combined moral suasion with an appeal to designers’ professional egotism, proved successful.

Kelly’s summary of the ITC concept (p. 55) leaves out the important role that Lubalin and U&lc played, though it does stress the impact of ITC’s naming practice in which not only was the ITC brand part of the name but in many cases so was the name of the type designer. Thus, ITC Zapf Book, ITC Zapf International, ITC Zapf Chancery and ITC Zapf Dingbats. By including the name of the designer, ITC was reminding the user that there was an individual behind the typeface whose livelihood was being supported by the authorized purchase/use of the typeface. Kelly sees the name as a crucial component of the success of ITC’s strategy, but I believe that U&lc played a more important role. Many of ITC’s most successful typefaces in the 1970s did not bear the name of their designer, even when the designer was alive, viz. ITC Serif Gothic, ITC Eras, ITC Fenice, ITC Barcelona, and ITC Esprit. In the case of Zapf, it is likely that ITC benefited as much from the use of his name as he did. His name provided cachet within European design circles—and legitimacy within the small coterie of old-line type manufacturers—in a way that the names Lubalin, Benguiat or Pacella did not.

Although ITC’s business model relied on a carrot as a means of stemming the tide of typeface piracy, the company also pursued the acquisition of a stick via the legal protection of typefaces as copyrightable creative works. “Whereas many European countries enacted legislation to protect type designers and other intellectual property, the United States did not,” Kelly says in explaining the circumstances behind Zapf’s appearance at the Library of Congress in 1974 (p. 48). (He is right about the situation in the United States, but not about it in Europe. No European country protected typefaces prior to 1973. (3)) ITC took a leading role in the early 1970s in trying to rectify the situation, constantly running editorials and articles in U&lc explaining the need for typeface protection and urging readers to pressure Congress to include typefaces in the copyright law then under consideration. Despite this effort, typefaces were left out of the Copyright Act of 1976. Zapf continued to speak out on the issue of typeface piracy—even to the point of dramatically quitting ATypI in 1993 over the membership of companies he considered to be guilty of such practice—and he continued to design typefaces.

As Kelly stresses throughout About More Alphabets, Zapf has always embraced technological change. In his fight against typeface piracy he always railed against unethical businessmen, not against the technology that they exploited. Consequently, as typeface technology shifted from photocomposition to digital composition in the 1970s and early 1980s, Zapf designed new typefaces for URW (URW Antiqua and URW Grotesk) and Scangraphic (Zapf Renaissance), two new companies whose libraries held clones of his older designs (e.g. both companies offered Palatino, Scangraphic under the name Parlament and URW under the name Palladio). His decision to do this was prompted partly by his fascination by the new technologies each company offered, but also by a realization that even if he couldn’t stop their piratical behavior he could still benefit from creating new typefaces which would allow him to do the things he couldn’t do in the days of metal (e.g. the numerous alternate swash characters available with Zapf Renaissance Italic). Zapf also edited and marked up proofs of Bitstream’s copies of Palatino, Optima and Melior (known respectively as Zapf Humanist, Zapf Calligraphic and Zapf Elliptical) to insure their quality (4). To some his behavior may seem hypocritical, but given the lack of legal protection for typefaces, it is entirely understandable. Zapf was as interested in protecting his reputation as he was in earning the profit he deserved from his designs.

Zapf’s complicated actions in the 1980s and 1990s regarding pirated or cloned versions of his typefaces are entirely absent from About More Alphabets. Although Kelly need not have gone into depth on the subject, he should have at the very least acknowledged that piracy continued to vex Zapf long after his association with Hallmark Cards and ITC. He does tantalize the reader with the information that “Robert Bringhurst has documented over one hundred legitimate varieties of the Palatino design, ranging from the original roman and italic designs for metal types produced for the Stempel typefoundry and the Linotype Corporation [sic], to the twenty-first century Palatino nova, re-drawn by Zapf with Akira Kobayashi for contemporary requirements.” (p. 35) (5). But he does not indicate how many illegitimate versions of the Palatino design there are.

Specimen spread for Palatino Nova Titling and Palatino Nova Roman (both 2005) from About More Alphabets (2011). Typographic layout by Jerry Kelly.

The third part of About More Alphabets is the type specimen section (pp. 84–111). Visually it mimics the type specimen portion of the original About Alphabets, though there are no sample settings of types accompanying the alphabet showings. The captions in both lack dates. This is not as much of a problem in the older book because the typefaces are shown in chronological order and the specimen section is followed by a chronological list of all of Zapf’s typefaces up to 1960 (with both design and release dates). About More Alphabets has no chronology of typefaces—an especially regrettable omission given that not all of Zapf’s post-1960 designs are mentioned in the text or dated when they are—and the sequence of specimens is not in any discernible order. It is neither chronological nor alphabetical nor stylistic. It opens with the various members of the Palatino nova family (though not Palatino nova Sans) and Optima nova family before jumping backwards to faces that Zapf designed between 1969 and 1977 (from Venture to ITC Zapf International); then it lurches forward to Zapf Essentials and Zapfino before zigzagging back to typefaces from the 1970s and 1980s, eventually concluding with Zapf Civilité. Not every member of each type family is shown and not every face has a full alphanumeric character set (excluding accented characters). Thus there is no example of the swash characters designed for ITC Zapf International Italic or the complete Zapf Renaissance Italic with swashes, both of which Kelly approvingly points out in the text (pp. 58 and 63 respectively). There is little value in this specimen section.

Specimens of Palatino (and alternative characters) (1950), Zodiac Signs (1950), and Palatino Italic with Swash Characters) (1951 and 1952) from About Alphabets (1960). Typographic layout by Hermann Zapf.

Although About More Alphabets superficially resembles the original About Alphabets in format and arrangement it does not match its predecessor in the quality of its content, production or design. The overall design is conservative, verging on dull. This is surprising given Kelly’s reputation as an award-winning book designer. He has set the book in Comenius, an underappreciated face as he notes, but he could have been a bit bolder and used the equally little-known but more innovative Marconi which he calls one of Zapf’s most important typefaces. Zapf set About Alphabets in Optima, a very daring move in 1960, to prove that it was a text face. The images, especially the horizontal ones, in About More Alphabets are often too small as Kelly has sized them all to the width of the text block which is smaller than that of About Alphabets. In the latter Zapf devoted a double-page spread to all horizontal images and a full page to all vertical ones, even going so far as to ignore his text block dimensions. The images in About Alphabets are all tip-ins, printed on a deep beige colored paper that contrasts with that of the main text. Kelly had no such luxury so he has used a tint behind many of the typographic images and a duotone for some of the photographic illustrations. But his beige color has an unpleasant orangey tone to it. Furthermore, these colors clash with the bright blue used on the title page, as an accent in the type specimen section, and for the Marconi illustration (p. 61); as well as the full color image of the Palatino nova booklet (p. 76). The paper itself is a bright white rather than an offwhite like that used in About Alphabets.

Spread from About More Alphabets (2011) showing stages of Michelangelo Titling (1950), Linotype Aldus (1954) and Palatino Swash Italic capitals (1952). Layout by Jerry Kelly.

Spread from About Alphabets (1960) with tip-in of 1952 proof of Aldus-Buch (originally called Leicht Palatino) on recto. On the verso note the text set in Optima. Zapf adjusted the leading to separate the text about his life from that about his type designs.

About More Alphabets is not a bad book. Rather, it is an ill-conceived one. For those unfamiliar with Hermann Zapf’s complete type design oeuvre it is the best introduction to it available today (6) (8). But that is only because better books, such as Hermann Zapf and His Design Philosophy, are out of print and not as au courant. This book represents a failure of imagination, a missed opportunity. Kelly could have followed his own advice and focused on a handful of type designs in such a way that other designs could have been drawn in and discussed meaningfully (rather than described as “handsome” or “all-around useful” without further explanation). If he had thought thematically rather than chronologically, he could have added more depth to his typeface discussions. Here are some suggestions as to what Kelly could have included to make About More Alphabets a richer experience:

  • a history of Palatino from its inception in 1948 through the various iterations it underwent in response to technological requirements and advancements to its latest incarnation as Palatino nova. This should include 1. an explanation of the relationship among the various members of Palatino’s extended family of Michelangelo, Sistina, Kompakt and Aldus; 2. a look at related typefaces by Zapf such as Zapf Renaissance Antiqua; and 3. a discussion of Palatino clones (especially those which Zapf has had a hand in) which would provide the perfect opportunity to address the issue of typeface piracy (7).
  • a history of Optima from its conception in 1950 to Optima nova. This should include 1. a look at its origins in Quattrocento Florentine sans serif inscriptions and the inspiration for its lowercase; 2. an examination of it in relation to similar typefaces such as Florentine by John Cumming, Stellar by Robert Hunter Middleton, the remarkable yet little-known Romann Schrift by Joachim Romann, and Pascal by José Mendoza y Almeida; 3. a comparison to other sans serifs by Zapf such as Magnus, URW Grotesk and Palatino nova Sans; and 4. some commentary on the revolutionary nature of Optima vis a vis its contemporaries Univers and Neue Haas Grotesk (Helvetica).
  • a look at Marconi, not only in terms of its technological importance, but also in relation to Walbaum, ITC Zapf Book and contemporary didones by Adrian Frutiger (Iridium) and Aldo Novarese (ITC Fenice).
  • a comparison of other romans by Zapf which share common characteristics: Hunt Roman, Orion, Crown Roman and, to some extent, ITC Zapf International. The calligraphic underpinnings of these designs should be included in any discussion along with acknowledgement of the different technological circumstances behind each typeface.
  • a look at Zapf’s chancery italic influenced typefaces: Palatino Italic, Firenze, Medici Script, Zapf Renaissance Italic with swashes, and Zapfino. Some of these faces are independent designs in the tradition of the early italics and they should be placed in that context with comparisons to Arrighi by Frederic Warde and Poetica by Robert Slimbach.
  • an examination of Virtuosa I and II in terms of the limitations imposed on scripts by metal technology and the solutions proposed not only by Zapf but by his contemporaries Roger Excoffon (Diane), G.G. Lange (Boulevard) and Aldo Novarese (Juliet Script); and the freedom available in OpenType that led to Virtuosa Classic (designed in collaboration with Akira Kobayashi). A look at Virtuosa in both incarnations should also take into account how original Zapf’s design is in comparison to most Englischschreibschrift typefaces such as Snell Roundhand, Bickham Script or ITC Edwardian Script.
  • a comparison of Missouri, Noris Script and Zapf Civilité with reference to Zapf’s calligraphy as well as to the historical civilité of Robert Granjon and the modern interpretations by Morris Fuller Benton, Jonathan Hoefler and P22 (Colin Kahn and Rich Kegler).

Obviously, these first two suggestions are more complex than the other five, but some combination of them could easily have been fitted into the limitations imposed by the Typophile chapbook format. Studies like these cover Zapf’s career chronologically, stylistically, and technologically. They link his calligraphy to his type designs. And they situate him in the context of type history, especially in relationship to his peers. In short, a book of this nature would be worthy of Zapf’s stature as one of the giants of 20th century type design.

At a minimum About More Alphabets should have included a definitive list of Zapf’s type designs—the last one published dates to 1989—and a short bibliography of the essential books about his career. (I will be attaching both of these as supplemental posts to this review.) But what is really needed now—ideally while he is still alive—is a comprehensive overview of Zapf’s entire type design oeuvre, something that cannot be accomplished within the scope of a chapbook. A book of this sort need not be the monumental tome that Adrian Frutiger Typefaces: The Complete Works is—though there is certainly enough material for such a work. It needs to be a clear-eyed look at Zapf’s triumphs and failures (or at least his less successful designs) instead of another hagiographic survey; one that places his type designs not only in the context of his calligraphy, technological change and his own oeuvre, but also in the context of other type designers whether predecessors (e.g. Walter Tiemann as well as Rudolf Koch), contemporaries (e.g. Adrian Frutiger), or successors (e.g. Robert Slimbach). If Zapf continues to be smothered in unabashed adulation he will end up like Frederic Goudy, his real achievements buried under an avalanche of unfiltered praise for his lesser work that, at worst, invites a backlash and, at best, sparks indifference. Hermann Zapf deserves better than that.

And he deserves a better book than About More Alphabets.


1. Matthew Carter reminds me that the formation of the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) in 1957 indicates that the issue of type piracy was certainly in the air before the 1960s. My information on phototype companies comes principally from A Concise Chronology of Typesetting Developments 1886–1986 by L.W. Wallis (London: The Wynkyn de Worde Society in association with Lund Humphries, 1988). Private conversations with Frank Romano (Professor Emeritus, School of Print Media, Rochester Institute of Technology and the longtime publisher/editor of Type World/Electronic Publishing) and Mark Simonson (type designer and owner of Mark Simonson Studio)  indicate that the explosion of pirated typefaces by photocomposition machine manufacturers began in the late 1960s, especially with the introduction of the CG 4961 in June 1968. Wallis says, “Compugraphic Corporation broke into the phototypesetting machinery market with a series of new devices at the exhibition PRINT 68 in Chicago. Prices of the machines were unprecedentedly and unimaginably low. Popularisation of phototypesetting techniques and the demise of hot-metal methods were accelerated by these events. Most  notable of the new machines were the CG2961 and CG4961. Incorporated in the hard-wired logic of the units was the ability to justify and hyphenate text, thereby advancing the concept of the ’intelligent’ phototypesetter.” (p. 39). Romano says that the first company to illegally copy Palatino and Optima was Compugraphic. “They had PhotoLettering blow up Lino faces and then cut rubyliths for artwork,” he says. Compugraphic’s first typeface, according to the Monotype Imaging website, was Bodoni in 1967. (Monotype Imaging is the current successor to Compugraphic.)

2. the ITC model is detailed on p. 48 of U&lc vol. 3, no. 2 (1976) as part of their first directory of typefaces. This is a very important document as it lays out the incentives for typeface manufacturers to cooperate instead of pirating ITC faces. The first issue of U&lc (vol. I, no. 1 1973) had a front page editorial “Stop the ‘Perpetrators’”, written by Ed Rondthaler, that tackled the issue of type piracy. Here are some excerpts:

No adequate law protects the type designer or photocomposing machine manufacturer from unauthorized duplication of the machine’s most vital part: the typeface or font negative. Unauthorized contact duplication of these critical negatives has reached dangerous proportions, and the graphics industry can no longer afford, ostrich-like, to disregard the demoralizing effect it is having on creative talent. (p. 1)

Protecting a type design from piracy is a problem as old as typefounding itself. The alphabet has never enjoyed much legal status. Type designer and manufacturer have long been victims of this unfortunate situation. (p. 2)

The development of photographic typesetting equipment has sparked a rash of new machines which use an inexpensive font negative rather than the costly matrices of hot metal. Ironically, photography has been the technological salvation of the typesetting business, but when used unethically it can rob the type designer of his livelihood. It can do worse than that. It is now threatening to throw the creative arm of the industry into chaos. (p. 2)

From a co-conspirator the copier borrows or buys an original font negative upon which many thousands of dollars have been spent in creative design, in microscopic placement of letters, in unit modification and fit, in grid pattern and technical layout. With one quick flash he duplicates everything. It is a highly lucrative business since each contact copy—made for pennies—is sold for twenty or even fifty dollars to the unwitting typographer…. (p. 2) [this is legal but highly unethical]

…important changes to Britain’s copyright law are in the works and ATypI has drafted a proposal in conjunction with World International Property Organization (WIPO) for the 1973 Vienna Internaitonal Diplomatic Conference on Industrial Property with the goal of having a document emerge that will lead to international protection of typefaces; need to convince US Congress to support this effort as part of the effort to support this initiative ITC is including a “ITC design license mark” on all of its master alphabets “to be used on all authorized film strips, grids, discs, transfer sheets or other master alphabet products using ITC designs and manufactured by licensed ITC subscribers. (p. 3)

This mark [the ITC design license mark] clearly identifies the product’s authenticity and assures the purchaser that a royalty has been been paid. (p. 3) [note the emphasis on the manufacturer as well as on the designer]

At the end of his editorial Rondthaler included a list of designers who are on record as supporting the ITC licensing approach. Among them are: Milton Glaser, Lou Dorfsman, Saul Bass, and George Lois. He then asked for U&lc readers to add their support to the anti-piracy effort by sending letters to Senator John McClellan (1896–1977), who in 1974 sponsored S. 3976 (93rd) to amend title 17 of the United States Code regarding copyright.

3. This is why, as Ed Rondthaler stated in his editorial “Stop the ‘Perpetrators’” (U&lc, vol. 1, no. 1, 1973), the Association Internationale Typographique (ATypI) drafted a proposal, in conjunction with World International Property Organization (WIPO), for the 1973 Vienna International Diplomatic Conference on Industrial Property with the goal of having a document emerge that would lead to international protection of typefaces. ITC did its part by lobbying. Rondthaler pleaded for readers to support a similar push for copyright protection in the United States. The copyright campaign occupied ITC for the next three years, with updates appearing regularly in U&lc, including a summary of Zapf’s 1974 testimony before the Library of Congress (U&lc, vol. 2, no. 1, 1975) and a reprint of the ATypI Code Moral on typefaces (U&lc, vol. 1, no. 2, 1975). The Vienna conference led to the World Treaty on Intellectual Properties which included typefaces, but it has not become international law since only two countries have ratified it (France in 1975 and Germany in 1981).

4. Monotype copied Palatino as Book Antiqua (v.1.01) for Microsoft, action that Zapf condemned. Years later, though, he cooperated with Monotype and Microsoft to create an improved OpenType version (v.2.35). This information comes from a 1998 post by John Butler 1998. Ironically, Book Antiqua was listed as Z-Antiqua (the working name of Palatino during its development) in the 1990 Monotype specimen book.

5. Kelly does not explain how Bringhurst arrived at his number of legitimate versions of Palatino. Did he count each size or master design of Palatino in metal and Linofilm as a separate design? Did he include other members of the Palatino “family” such as Aldus and Sistina? Did he include designs by Zapf with different names, such as Zapf Renaissance, that are clearly part of Palatino’s lineage? Did he consider the Bitstream and Microsoft OpenType versions to be legitimate?

6. Although it is a Typophile Chapbook, the sale of About More Alphabets is not limited to The Typophiles membership. 1000 copies were printed (excluding the 75 copies “specially bound & signed by the author with additional type specimens printed letterpress printed letterpress at the Kelly-Winterton Press”) for general sale.

7. ITC, through U&lc, continued to push for copyright protection for typefaces in the mid-1970s. Here are additional excerpts from various issues:

The World Treaty on Intellectual Properties, held in June 1973 in Vienna, has brought us one step closer to the end of this practice of unauthorized copying and its long overdue demise. But until the time when international copyright protection of typeface designs is enacted into law, organizations such as ITC together with the manufacturers on this page, who constitute ITC Subscribers, provide fair compensation to ITC. (U&lc, vol. I, no. 2 1975) [ATypI’s Moral Code was reprinted p. 24.]

U&lc (vol. II, no. 1, 1975) was heavily devoted to “The Art of Typeface Design and Visual Communications.” It reported on the Typeface Design Symposium (15–16 October 1975) organized by Barbara Ringer, Register of Copyrights, in Washington, and co-sponsored by the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Graduate School of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; summarized Zapf’s speech about type design and piracy (p. 3); reproduced an AIGA resolution supporting copyright for typefaces (p. 30); and ran an editorial urging people to write Congress.

U&lc (vol. 2, no. 4, 1975) has an editorial about copyrights (p. 2).

U&lc (vol. 3, no. 1, 1976) has an article about Zapf’s return to active type design (pp. 2–3) with the introduction of ITC Zapf Book, supposedly his first text family since Optima. That ignores Crown Roman and Italic designed for Hallmark Cards. “Hermann Zapf’s return to active type design practice is a landmark victory for ethics as well as the introduction of a major new typeface.” (p. 3)

U&lc (vol. 3, no. 4, 1976) ran another editorial (p. 4) on the status of typeface copyright. ITC urged protection for 15 years rather than life plus fifty.

U&lc (vol. 4, no. 1, 1977) stated, “You can help stop “Similar to”-ism now.” (p. 2). “The best designers are attracted to ITC because of ITC’s fair flat fee plus royalty payments,” it claimed, “and because ITC’s world-wide marketing program maximizes the sales potential of each new face.” The centerpiece of the marketing program was U&lc.

U&lc (vol. 5, no. 1, 1978). “The ITC Concept” of licensing and royalties is detailed on pp. 2a and 3a which introduces “The ITC Typeface Directory of 1978”, a supplement listing all of the ITC typefaces to date.

8. The World of Alphabets CD-ROM offered by Linotype is no longer a good, inexpensive overview of his career since it does not function with Apple’s OSX operating system.


ATA Type Comparison Book
Frank Merriman
N.P.: Advertising Typographers Association of America, 1965
[the book contains all metal faces; there is no mention of pirated versions]

‘CRS’ One Line Specimen Book
Skokie, Illinois: Alphatype, n.d. [early 1980s]
[acquired from Crosby Typographers in Soho; with stapled page dated October 15, 1983 containing a CRS Master Font & Type Book Order Form annotated to match Alphatype designs to others (such as Patina to Palatino and Musica to Optima)]

Zapf Renaissance Antiqua: A new calligraphic type family with swash italics for high quality layout setting, for books and magazines.
Hamburg: Scangraphic Dr. Böger GmbH, 1987
[the typeface “does not follow… the rule of aligning to the ‘German Standard Line’.”; it is “…based on the ideal design proportions the artists and scholars of the 16th and 17th centuries adhered to.” The relative proportions of the ascenders and descenders to the x-height are in accord with the Sectio Aurea.]

The Type Book
Wilmington, Massachusetts: Compugraphic Corporation, 1987
[the Typeface Analogue (at the back): “It is a fact of life that typeface designs can change from one manufacturer to another. Design adaptations have always been present in the typographic industry. Typefaces originally cut for handset type were adapted for metal typecasters. Then further adaptations were necessary to convert a face for use on phototypesetters. ¶ Through each generation, the typeface can—and usually does—have design changes. This means that typefaces we are using and specifiying today are subtlely different from their original rendering. Major manufacturers devote much expense and time creating accurate versions of the most popular styles for their customers, and, in many casesm give these completed designs new names.”]

The Bitstream Typeface Library One-Line Showings
Boston: Bitstream Inc., 1988
[the Alphabetical Index at the back lists some “alternative” names of typefaces]

Monotype Typeface Library 90.4
Redhill, Surrey, England: The Monotype Corporation plc and Chicago: Monotype Typography, Inc., 1990
[p. 227 shows Z-Antiqua PS; Palatino from Linotype is on p. 169—the two are significantly different though it is clear that the former is a Palatino derivative.]


• p. 13 “Germany had recently been defeated in the First World War, and the reparations demanded by the allies as a result would cripple the country for many years to come….”;
“allies” should be “Allies”

• p. 13 “Due [to] the family’s poor economic prospects….”

• p. 17 “The genesis [of] Zapf’s first typeface design….”

• p. 18 “Zapf himself was conscripted by the German army in 1940.”; “German army” should be “German Army”

• p. 19 and 20 “ABC Büchlein” should be “ABC-Büchlein” [this is correct in the caption on p. 20]

• p. 20 the ABC-Büchlein “emanates from a period when Koch was more interested in a very direct and expressionistic style of calligraphy. Much (though certainly not all) of Koch’s early work was far more finished.”; this is debatable. The ABC-Büchlein (1934) was issued the year that Koch died—as Kelly notes—but the heyday of Koch’s expressionist tendencies were 1906 to the early 1920s; that is, from the design of Deutscheschrift (1910) to that of Neuland (1923). See Rudolf Koch: Letterer, Type Designer, Teacher by Gerald Cinamon (New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press and London: The British Library, 2000).

• p. 22 to show that both Koch and Zapf designed “elegant” typefaces Kelly pairs Wilhelm Klingsporschrift, a textura, with Gilgengart, a fraktur. If he had shown either Frühling or Claudius by Koch, the comparison would have been more direct; the date of 1922 for Wilhelm Klingsporschrift is wrong (the type was issued in 1926); the showing of it is not metal but the Linotype version with an incorrect k, x and X. 

• p. 24 “…many principles from Koch‘s type [Wilhelm Klingsporschrift] are at play here [Gilgengart].” Actually, there are three other frakturs that are closer in spirt to Gilgengart: Kleist Fraktur (Walter Tiemann, 1927–1928), Fichte Fraktur (Walter Tiemann, 1937) and Humboldt Fraktur (Hiero Rhode, 1938). See The Calligraphic Tradition in Blackletter Type by Paul Shaw (Scripsit vol. 22: nos. 1–2, Summer 1999), pp. 28–33.

• p. 25 The 1948 Novalis specimen is too tiny to properly appreciate the design. This is a rarely shown Zapf typeface—usually only an alphabet—and so this is a missed opportunity.

• p. 27 The original drawing for Palatino 1948 is an example of an image that should have been rotated sideways or run across a double-page spread. A number of images in About More Alphabets are reproduced to small because they are squeezed into a single page in a vertical format. (The drawing also has the annoying orange tint mentioned above.)

• p. 27 “With Palatino the Stempel typefoundry wanted to offer printers a new, modern-looking, generally useful Renaissance roman and italic font, which could be used to replace the older type faces depleted during the war due to destruction or wear (lead was used mostly for ammunition not type, between the late 1930s and 1945).” The use of lead for ammunition not type during the war did not impact matrices. After the war the older matrices could still be used. If there was a shortage of lead it would have effected Palatino as much as any of those other typefaces.

• p. 29 The metal plate from Feder und Stichel is reproduced too small and would have benefited from being reproduced oblong.

• p. 30 “miniscule” should be “minuscule”

• p. 30 “…the Palatino design reveals no readily identifiable Germanic influence…”. This is debatable. The original version of Palatino had extremely short descenders that reflected the German common line which was based on blackletter proportions. It also had a number of idiosyncrasies (missing serifs on the horizontal strokes of E and F, the open bowl of R, the Greek Y, the tall t, and the calligraphic x, y and k, etc.) of the sourt that Stanley Morison considered to be typical of modern German type designers

• p. 31 “These related fonts [Michelangelo, Sistina et al] made Palatino the largest type family based on classic renaissance forms at the time.” This is probably an accurate assessment, but it should be pointed out that the Palatino “family”, as marketed at th time by Stempel, was not a type family in the now commonly accepted sense of the word. It included a number of typefaces with varying names. Not only Michelangelo and Sistina, but also Phidias, Kompakt and Aldus. {Renaissance should be capitalized.]

• p. 32 “Early sketches for Michelangelo c.1950.” Close examination of the image (which is reproduced too small) reveals dates of 1947 and 1949 in pencil by Zapf.

• p. 33 “Proofs of the first trial cutting of the Aldus typeface (enlarged).” This caption, in its vagueness, is typical of About More Alphabets. How much is the image enlarged? What is the point size of the trial cutting? What is the date when it was done?

• p. 33 “Drawing for Palatino swash capitals, with proofs of the first cutting paste on, 1951.” Close examination of the image indicates a date of October 8, 1953 not 1951—unless the 1951 refers to the drawings and the date refers to the proofs. The 1953 date is odd since the typeface is listed in Zapf’s books as being released in 1952.

• p. 36  “I am glad to see specimens of fonts designed by Herr Zapf, in whose work, as I have already told you [W.H. Cunz]. I feel a deep interest.” This quotation from Stanley Morison is bland and not very praiseworthy.

• p. 37 “non-latin” but “Cyrillic” and “Arabic”; capitalization is inconsistent. No dates are provided for Sequoyah [1974–1977] or “the Nigerian face” [Pan-Nigerian, 1983] mentioned.

• p. 40 The drawing for the Heraklit typeface is too small too appreciate, which is disappointing since this is an unfamiliar image. It is labeled 1955 but on p. 36 Kelly refers to the “Heraklit typeface of 1953” implying that this was the year of its release. About Alphabets says Heraklit was designed in 1953 and released in 1954.

• p. 41 This 1949 drawing for Melior is another new image that is reproduced at too small a size to be of use, especially for anyone interested in looking at the proofs pasted onto it.

• p. 42 Kelly talks about the popularity of Melior, but never provides any evidence to support his contention. It was designed as a newspaper face, but was it ever popular for that purpose? Or has it had a history like Times Roman as a newspaper face that gained popularity in magazines and books?

• p. 43 “Pencil sketch for Optima, before the final ink drawing, c. 1958.” This is another new image. However, the description incorrectly implies that these letters—which are solid and not outlines—are the basis for inked letters. They are not finished, as is evident from the tiny arrows along with an examination of weights (see the upper bowl of g, the curved tail of a, the juncture of u). Also, the capitals are missing W, X, Y and Z. What size was this drawing?

• p. 44 Kelly rightly calls Optima a classic typeface and notes its popularity, but he does not note the abuse it has undergone and the backlash it has generated. It may be the most disliked of all Zapf typefaces. The reason for this is worthy of investigation.

• p. 45 The Magnus Sans image is new. “Note the generous proportions of the descenders….” Kelly does not explain why German faces, including Palatino, had shortened descenders. Did Magnus Sans have generous descenders because it was designed for English Linotype (Linotype & Machinery, Ltd. in London) rather than German Linotype? Kelly tells us that the type was never issued but that it later became the basis for URW Grotesk later [no dates for either font are given other than mid-1950s for the former; but About Alphabets tells us that Magnus Sans was designed 1956–1958 and released in 1960]. The dates for Magnus Sans overlap those of Optima so a close comparison of the two types—beyond their descender depths—would have been enlightening.

• p. 45 at the bottom is the point at which About More Alphabets finally enters territory not covered by About Alphabets. Since the text ends on p. 82, this means that only 36 pages are devoted to Zapf’s career between 1960 and 2011 while 35 pp. cover his earlier work. And even with that imbalance, Kelly manages to say little about Virtuosa I and II, Kompakt, and Saphir.

• p. 46 “…new designs created specifically or modern typesetting equipment….”; “or” should be “for”.

• pp. 46–47 Kelly outlines the changes to Zapf’s metal typefaces when they were converted to film or digital: 1. kerns added; 2. weights heavied up to compensate for film loss; 3. sharpening of edges to compensate for light deterioration; and 4. changes in letter elements due to rethinking of design by Zapf. It is this latter aspect that one wants to know more about with examples, but that is not discussed in any significant detail. Kelly simply says, in regard to Palatino, that changes were made by Zapf and then again by Zapf and Akira Kobayashi (Palatino nova, p. 48). There are no supporting images.

• p. 50 “By the 1960s… phototype fonts could be produced with minimal investment. It would be staggering to calculate Zapf’s loses [losses] due to this thievery.” Kelly provides no evidence for these statements. He then says, “…Hallmark Cards commissioned and copyrighted exclusive type designs [from Zapf] for their corporate use; and later International Typeface Corporation… came up with a new model for trademarking and licensing of typeface designs that proved quite successful.” Unfortunately, he does not explain how Hallmark managed to copyright typefaces or to detail how the ITC model worked.

• p. 51 “No longer would punchcutters exert their subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) influence on the design of typefaces.” Kelly is right about the differences between letterpress and offset and between metal and film; but he overstates the role of the punchcutter. The punchcutter had been disappearing for nearly 75 years, replaced by the pantograph operator; and the change from 3D metal to 2D film had already occurred. The only remaining punchcutters of any influence by 1950 were Charles Malin in Paris, P.F. Rädisch at Enschedé and August Rosenberger at Stempel. Zapf was fortunate to work with the latter for his major typefaces. In this respect, it should be noted that Zapf, unlike say Benton, Goudy, Gill or Dwiggins, seems to never have done any large scale outline drawings of his typefaces.

• p.53 “Jeanette Script” should be “Jeannette Script”; “Jeanette Lee” should be “Jeannette Lee”. Lee was more than a secretary at Hallmark as Kelly says. She joined the company in 1939 as assistant to the creative director and by the time she retired she was vice-president of corporate design and a member of the company’s board of directors. See What Our Lettering Needs: The Contribution of Hermann Zapf to Calligraphy & Type Design at Hallmark Cards by Rick Cusick (Rochester: RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press, 2011), p. 96. Kelly does not go into any detail about Zapf’s overall relationship with Hallmark Cards and fails to mention some of the faces (e.g. Scriptura) he designed for the company.

• p. 53 “Noris (the Latin name for Nuremberg, Zapf’s birthplace) and Venture are excellent scripts created for the Linofilm machine, but unfortunately they are rarely seen today.“ This is another instance in which Kelly fails to provide any descriptions of these typefaces or dates of their development and release. ITC Zapf Chancery and Zapfino are mentioned in the following paragraph as scripts with more popularity, but they too are not given dates. Furthermore, Kelly fails to link these typefaces and ignores the scripts Medici and Virtuosa.

• p. 54 “Jeanette” should be “Jeannette”

• p. 54 “Since these fonts were made for the exclusive use of Hallmark Cards and copyrighted, they are rarely seen today.” Once again, it would be interesting to know how Hallmark Cards managed to copyright the typefaces. How do they differ, in terms of the law, from Zapf’s designs for Linotype or ITC?

• p. 54 “…designed by Zapf for the Berthold Typefoundry in the 1970s…”; it should either be “Berthold typefoundry” or “H. Berthold GmbH”.

• p. 54 “A condensed roman, Orion, was issued for general applications about the same time.” Kelly fails to provide a date, a manufacturer, a technology or purpose—Linotype says the face was designed for newspaper use—for Orion. He is wrong about its width. It is not condensed. Instead, it has a tall x-height, generous counters and long serifs.

• p. 56 Kelly describes Zapf Chancery as having “an unusually large number of alternate swash characters”. The image on p. 57 shows two ds, two es, f, qr, tv, w, four ys; A, E, I, L, T; and ligatures stthof. in the sloped version of the light weight. The only character that was swashed in the sloped version or in any of the other weights was an alternate k. Is 22 swash characters an unusually large number for a script face in the phototype era? An examination of the Visual Graphics Two Inch Alphabet Library from VGC shows Acapulco with 22 swash capitals, Bernhard Tango with an entire set of swash capitals, Book Jacket Italic with 29 swash letters, VGC Bookman with 43 swash letters, Le Griffe with 36 lowercase swash letters and 40 swash caps, and Rotalic with 57 swash letters—and more.

p. 63 Kelly says Zapf’s inspiration for Zapf Renaissance Italic came from the calligraphic Cobden-Sanderson broadside he did in 1960. But it is difficult to compare the calligraphy and the font since the latter is only shown on p. 108 and then it is only the swash characters. The broadside is not shown either, but on p. 64 there is a paste-up made by Zapf of letters cut from it. (It is also shown on p. 62 of Calligraphic Type Design in the Digital Age: An Exhibition in Honor of the Contributions of Hermann and Gudrun Zapf: Selected Type Designs and Calligraphy by Sixteen Designers (2001).) There is no discussion of Zapf Renaissance Roman.

• p. 65 “…the continued success of his [Zapf’s] types in Europe and other royalty-paying countries.” [Europe is not a country. More importantly, the only royalty-paying country is Germany. But this is crucial since Zapf is a German citizen.]

• p. 69 “Drawing for AMS Euler, 1980 (issued 1986).” Hermann Zapf and His Design Philosophy (1987) says that the design was executed 1980–1981 and the typeface issued in 1983.

• p. 71 Zapf’s civilité drawings from 1938 and 1977 are another case of two oblong illustrations stacked on one page instead of being rotated sideways so they could be shown larger. Both are worth poring over to see how Zapf’s thinking about a civilité had changed over the course of 33 years. Some letters appear to become simpler while others are more elaborate. The final version of Zapf Civilité, commissioned by Paul Hayden Duensing, is more italic than blackletter. Did concerns over legibility influence its design? How does it relate to Missouri, a similar typeface done for Hallmark Cards in 1970/1971?

The text p. 70 says that the first drawings for Zapf Civilité were done in 1971 but the image on p. 71 is said to be c.1977—is there confusion between it and Missouri, or are we simply not being shown the images from 1971? The text also says, “It is interesting to note that Zapf had designed a civilité type for possible cutting by Stempel around 1940….” Why is the date vague when the image on p. 71 is said to be from 1938?

• p. 72 “We have mentioned that Zapf spent some time working with mathematicians at Stanford University in the 1970s.” [this was not said; dates were left out of the discussion; Zapf says project was in the early 1980s (vague) but quotes Siegel (The Euler Project at Stanford, 1985) as saying it began in 1979 when Knuth completed book on Tex and Metafont which led to collaboration with HZ in 1980 with goal to complete typeface in 1983 for 200th anniversary of Euler’s death (see Alphabet Stories pp. 62–63)

• p. 72 The drawing for Zapfino c.1977 is new, but Kelly does not discuss it.

• p. 75 “Bruno Steinhart” should be “Bruno Steinert”;  “Bad-Homburg” should be “Bad Homburg”

• p. 78 “Palatino italic” [sic] and “Aldus italic” [sic] should be “Palatino Italic” and “Aldus Italic” respectively.

• p. 79 “Linotype GmBH” should be “Linotype GmbH”; and “Bad-Homburg” should be “Bad Homburg”

• p. 80 Kelly says that large character sets are now possible which is why ITC Zapf Dingbats was redone as Zapf Essentials with “new symbols that could not be foreseen in the ’70s but are used today for web and other purposes.” Zapf Essentials has twelve more characters than the original 360 that the complete ITC Zapf Dingbats had. But many more than twelve are new which means that characters from the previous set have been deleted. None of this is discussed by Kelly.