The Mystery of Garamond no. 3

I have always wondered why the version of Garamond issued by Mergenthaler Linotype in 1936 is called Garamond no. 3. (This is the proper name of the typeface often erroneously called Garamond 3 today). Whatever happened to Garamond no. 1 and Garamond no. 2? Did they ever exist?

As usual, whenever I have a question of this sort, I turn first to Mac McGrew to see what he says. His book American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century (New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Books, 1993) is one of my essential reference sources on typefaces. According to him there were indeed two earlier versions of Garamond issued by Mergenthaler. He explains, as part of his overall entry on the American Garamond designs:

Edward E. Bartlett of Linotype went back to original Garamond specimens for a different and more authentic version of the face [than the Jean Jannon-based versions previously issued by American Type Founders, Intertype and the Monotype Corporation in England], introduced in 1929 with bold and italics; although these were handsome faces they never achieved the popularity of the ATF design. Later Linotype adapted the [Morris Fuller] Benton design as its Garamond No. 3 series. (“Garamond No. 2” is said to have been applied to a few fonts of German Linotype Garamond brought to the United States.). p. 149

But McGrew’s account is a bit fuzzy and partly wrong. What follows is some information that makes the story less fuzzy, if not entirely clear.

The Linotype Magazine (July 1926)—Garamond Number—cover.

Front cover of The Linotype Magazine (July 1926)—Garamond Number.

In July 1926 Mergenthaler Linotype transformed their house organ The Linotype Bulletin into a more “serious” publication entitled The Linotype Magazine. The first issue (vol. XVVIII, no. VIII—continuing the old numbering) of the new publication, labeled the “Garamond Number” on the cover, was devoted to the creation of the International Typographic Council and “Garamond on the Linotype”. The two stories are intertwined.

Mergenthaler Linotype organized a Department of Linotype Typography in 1913–1914 according to Julius W. Muller, editor of The Linotype Magazine, in order “to provide the users of the machine with the best attainable faces.” In his recounting Mergenthaler was soon producing typefaces of such a high quality that impressed European printers were adding “the Linotype Typography faces, though designed purely for the American printer” to their shops. It is hard to know how much of this statement is hyperbole and how much fact. However, Bartlett (1863–1942)*, the Director of Linotype Typography, made several trips to Europe in the 1920s to meet with European counterparts in order to promote Mergenthaler’s efforts abroad and to see what was happening typographically overseas. Some of his travels were recorded in The Typographic Treasures in Europe, a book co-written with Muller (New York and London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1925).

Bartlett’s travels led him to spearhead the organization of the International Typographic Council as a means of coordinating European and American typographic activities. Its first meeting was held in Paris in May 1926. Along with Bartlett and Harry L. Gage, at that time the Assistant Director of Linotype Typography, the other members of the Council were typographer George W. Jones (1860–1942), printing advisor to Linotype & Machinery Ltd. (colloquially known as English Linotype), who represented the Federation of the Master Printers of Great Britain and Ireland. (Later Jones designed several typefaces for English Linotype, among them Granjon [1928], Estienne [1929] and Georgian [1932].) Georges Draeger (1869–1945), managing director of the printing company Draeger Frères, was the French representative; and Raffaello Bertieri (1875–1941), publisher and editor of Il Risorgimento Grafico, was the Italian one. Germany was represented by David Stempel (1869–1927) of D. Stempel AG. On the Council along with Bartlett, who was the Chairman, there was Gage (who was not present at the inaugural meeting). Also at the meeting but not on the council were Charles Peignot of Deberny & Peignot, Richard Wallace of the Parisian advertising agency Wallace-Draeger, Rudolf Wolf of D. Stempel and René Billoux of the Bulletin Officiel des Maistres Imprimeurs de France.

The International Typographic Council (May 1926).

The International Typographic Council (May 1926).

“We wish to establish in the mind of the entire printing world the knowledge that this body [the International Typographic Council] is a council of typographic experts who are at the service of the whole industry, including the type founder as well as the printer, without fear or favor,” wrote Philip T. Dodge, President of Mergenthaler. Printing Ink wrote that the Council was a vehicle for Mergenthaler to secure rights to “the choicest products of the great European type-founders.”

That is apparently how Mergenthaler came to issue its original Garamond typeface, introduced in the July 1926 issue of The Linotype Magazine (“Introducing the New Garamond Series” forms part of the interior border on the front cover) not in 1929 as McGrew stated. This design, as is clear from the specimen showing (pp. 128–129) contained in the issue, is Stempel Garamond, the first true Garamond revival in the 20th century. “Garamond on the Linotype,” a short essay plays up this aspect of the design: “Linotype Garamond is the result of much study and research in Europe in which its design was traced back to the earliest known showing of the original Garamond types [a reference to the Egenolff-Berner specimen of 1592 owned by D. Stempel AG].”

The Linotype Garamond Series (24–36 pt) in The Linotype Magazine (July 1926), p. 128.

The Linotype Garamond Series (24–36 pt) in The Linotype Magazine (July 1926), p. 128.

The Linotype Garamond Series in The Linotype Magazine (July 1926), p. 129.

The Linotype Garamond Series (6–18 pt) in The Linotype Magazine (July 1926), p. 129.

The implication is that Linotype Garamond (or what we can call Garamond no. 1) is based on Stempel Garamond, issued in 1924 by D. Stempel AG. However, the design, attributed to Joseph Hill (the designer of Benedictine) is subtly different. (See Printing Types: And How to Use Them by Stanley C. Hlasta [Pittsburgh: Carnegie Press, 1950], p. 81.) Look at the a,f and especially g; and in the italic m, n and especially f, k and w. Garamond no. 2, according to Hlasta, was cut by Stempel as a direct derivative of its Garamond for Mergenthaler Setzmaschinen-Fabrik GmbH (often known colloquially as German Linotype), for whom they had been cutting matrices since 1900. It was imported by Mergenthaler and given the no. 2 designation to separate it from Hill’s design. Hlasta says it had a smaller set width than the earlier design.

Despite the authenticity of both Garamond no. 1 and Garamond no. 2, the Jean Jannon model from ATF, Monotype and others proved to be more popular in the United States. That led Mergenthaler to license the Benton design from ATF in 1936 designating it Garamond no.3. Apparently, by this time Hill’s design had gone out of production. But Garamond no. 2 was still available as late as 1941 when it appeared in volume 7 of the Graphic Arts Production Yearbook  (New York: Colton Press, 1941) along with Garamond no. 3.

So that, as far as I have been able to discover, is why we have Garamond no. 3.

*Edward Everett Bartlett, often known as E.E. Bartlett, is barely remembered today, other than as the co-author with William Dana Orcutt of The Manual of Linotype Typography (1923). In the 1920s he was a more important figure within Mergenthaler Linotype than C.H. Griffith, who at the time was the Assistant to the General Manager, Norman Dodge. He originally joined Mergenthaler in 1913–1914 in order to establish “a comprehensive program to enable the printer to achieve correct typography,” according to Harry L. Gage (The American Printer [vol. 72] for 5 June 1921, p. 37) Bartlett studied classical and historic typefaces as the basis for a system of typographic material at Linotype. Gage’s description is sketchy, but it sounds as if his role as a consultant was similar to those that George W. Jones and Stanley Morison subsequently took on at English Linotype and English Monotype respectively. Among the typefaces that Bartlett is credited with developing for the linotype are Caslon, Bodoni, Scotch Roman, Old Style, Elzevir and Benedictine (the company’s first original design). Before joining Mergenthaler, he was the President of Bartlett Orr Press, a position he retained.