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Garamond icon is the name given to a group of old-style serif typefaces named after the punch-cutter
In traditional typography, punchcutting is the craft of cutting letter punches in steel from which matrices were made in copper for type founding in the letterpress era. Cutting punches and casting type was the first step of traditional typesetting. The cutting of letter punches was a highly...

 Claude Garamond
Claude Garamond
Claude Garamond was a French publisher from Paris. He was one of the leading type designers of his time, and is credited with the introduction of the apostrophe, the accent and the cedilla to the French language. Several contemporary typefaces, including those currently known as Garamond, Granjon,...

 (c. 1480–1561). Most 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
Roman type
In typography, roman is one of the three main kinds of historical type, alongside blackletter and italic. Roman type was modelled from a European scribal manuscript style of the 1400s, based on the pairing of inscriptional capitals used in ancient Rome with Carolingian minuscules developed in the...

 versions of the typefaces Adobe
Adobe Systems
Adobe Systems Incorporated is an American computer software company founded in 1982 and headquartered in San Jose, California, United States...

 Garamond, Granjon
Granjon is an old style serif typeface designed by George William Jones in the period 1928–1929, and based on the Garamond typeface that was used in a book printed by the Parisian Jean Poupy in 1592. The roman design was from Claude Garamond and the italic version was from Robert Granjon...

, Sabon
Sabon is the name of an old style serif typeface designed by the German-born typographer and designer Jan Tschichold in the period 1964–1967...

, and Stempel
Stempel is the name of the following people:* Herbert Stempel, a television game show contestant* Robert Stempel, a Manager and Chairman- See also :Stempel may also refer to:* D Stempel AG type foundry* Stempel Garamond typeface...


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.


Claude Garamond came to prominence in the 1540s, first for a Greek typeface he was commissioned to create for the French king Francis I
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

, to be used in a series of books by Robert Estienne
Robert Estienne
Robert I Estienne , known as Robertus Stephanus in Latin and also referred to as Robert Stephens by 18th and 19th-century English writers, was a 16th century printer and classical scholar in Paris...

. The French court later adopted Garamond’s Roman types for their printing and the typeface influenced type across France and Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

. Garamond probably had seen Venetian old-style types from the printing shops of Aldus Manutius
Aldus Manutius
Aldus Pius Manutius , the Latinised name of Aldo Manuzio —sometimes called Aldus Manutius, the Elder to distinguish him from his grandson, Aldus Manutius, the Younger—was an Italian humanist who became a printer and publisher when he founded the Aldine Press at Venice.His publishing legacy includes...

. Garamond based much of his lowercase on the handwriting
Handwriting is a person's particular & individual style of writing with pen or pencil, which contrasts with "Hand" which is an impersonal and formalised writing style in several historical varieties...

 of Angelo Vergecio, librarian to Francis I. The italics of most contemporary versions are based on the italics of Garamond’s assistant Robert Granjon.

Original type

When Claude Garamond died in 1561, his punches and matrices were sold to Christopher Plantin, in Antwerp, which enabled the Garamond fonts to be used on many printers. This version became popular in Europe.

The only complete set of the original Garamond dies and matrices is at the Plantin-Moretus Museum
Plantin-Moretus Museum
The Plantin-Moretus Museum is a museum in Antwerp, Belgium honouring the famous printers Christoffel Plantijn and Jan Moretus. It is located in their former residence and printing establishment, Plantin Press, at the Friday Market.- History :...

, in Antwerp, Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...


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
Imprimerie nationale
The Imprimerie nationale is the official printing works of the French government, in succession to the Manufacture royale d'imprimerie founded by Cardinal Richelieu...


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.

In 1919, Thomas Maitland Cleland
Thomas Maitland Cleland
Thomas Maitland Cleland was an American book designer, painter, illustrator, and type designer.-Education and career:...

 and Morris Fuller Benton
Morris Fuller Benton
Morris Fuller Benton was an influential American typeface designer who headed the design department of the American Type Founders , for which he was the chief type designer from 1900 to 1937...

 produced the first 20th-century commercial Garamond, based on the Jannon’s design, called Garamond #3.


Revivals of the Garamond type came as early as 1900, when a typeface based on the work of Jean Jannon was introduced at the Paris World’s Fair
Exposition Universelle (1900)
The Exposition Universelle of 1900 was a world's fair held in Paris, France, from April 15 to November 12, 1900, to celebrate the achievements of the past century and to accelerate development into the next...

 as "Original Garamond", whereafter many type foundries began to cast similar types, beginning a wave of revivals that continued throughout the 20th Century. These revivals followed the designs from Garamond and Jannon. The designs of italic fonts mainly came from a version produced by Robert Granjon. In a 1926 article in The Fleuron
The Fleuron
The Fleuron was a British journal of typography and book arts published in seven volumes from 1923 to 1930....

, Beatrice Warde
Beatrice Warde
Beatrice Warde , was a communicator on typography. She was the only daughter of May Lamberton Becker, a journalist on the staff of the New York Herald Tribune, and Gustave Becker, composer and teacher.Beatrice was educated at Barnard College at Columbia University...

 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.

Digital versions include Adobe Garamond and Garamond Premier (both designed by Robert Slimbach
Robert Slimbach
Robert Slimbach is a type designer, who has worked at Adobe Systems since 1987. He has won many awards for his digital typeface designs, including the rarely-awarded Charles Peignot Award from the Association Typographique Internationale, and repeated TDC2 awards from the Type Directors Club.-...

), Monotype Garamond, Simoncini Garamond, and Stempel Garamond. The typefaces Granjon and Sabon
Sabon is the name of an old style serif typeface designed by the German-born typographer and designer Jan Tschichold in the period 1964–1967...

 (designed by Jan Tschichold
Jan Tschichold
Jan Tschichold was a typographer, book designer, teacher and writer.-Life:Tschichold was the son of a provincial signwriter, and he was trained in calligraphy...

) are also classified as Garamond revivals.

A version called ITC Garamond, designed by Tony Stan (1917–1988) was released in 1977. The design of ITC Garamond, more than any other digital versions, takes great liberty with Garamond’s original design by following a formulary associated with the International Typeface Corporation
International Typeface Corporation
The International Typeface Corporation was a type manufacturer founded in New York in 1970 by Aaron Burns, Herb Lubalin, and Edward Rondthaler. The company was one of the world's first type foundries to have no history in the production of metal type...

 (ITC), including an increase in the x-height
In typography, the x-height or corpus size refers to the distance between the baseline and the mean line in a typeface. Typically, this is the height of the letter x in the font , as well as the u, v, w, and z...

; a wide range of weights, from light to ultra bold; and a condensed width, also in weights from light to ultra bold.
Based on Claude Garamond Based on Jean Jannon New design
Stempel Garamond, Adobe Garamond, Sabon, Garamond Premier, Garamond Antiqua Monotype Garamond, Simoncini Garamond, Linotype Granjon, ATF Garamond (Garamond #3), LTC Garamont, Storm Jannon Antiqua, Garamond Classico ITC Garamond, Apple Garamond


In Russian, two letters are visibly different from their original scripts. These are Д
De (Cyrillic)
De is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.De commonly represents the voiced dental plosive , like the pronunciation of ⟨d⟩ in admit.De is romanized using the Latin letter D.-History:...

 “de” and Л
El (Cyrillic)
El is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.El commonly represents the alveolar lateral approximant , like the pronunciation of ⟨l⟩ in "lip".-Form:...

 “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”
De (Cyrillic)
De is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.De commonly represents the voiced dental plosive , like the pronunciation of ⟨d⟩ in admit.De is romanized using the Latin letter D.-History:...

), and Л (Cyrillic letter “el”
El (Cyrillic)
El is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.El commonly represents the alveolar lateral approximant , like the pronunciation of ⟨l⟩ in "lip".-Form:...

). The letters are similar to the Greek Δ
Delta (letter)
Delta is the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 4. It was derived from the Phoenician letter Dalet...

 “delta” and Λ
Lambda is the 11th letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals lambda has a value of 30. Lambda is related to the Phoenician letter Lamed . Letters in other alphabets that stemmed from lambda include the Roman L and the Cyrillic letter El...

 “lambda”, as the Cyrillic alphabet derived from the Greek alphabet.

Popular examples of Garamond types

  • Chetan Bhagat
    Chetan Bhagat
    Chetan Bhagat , is an Indian author, columnist, and speaker. Bhagat is the author of five bestselling novels, Five Point Someone , One Night @ the Call Center , The 3 Mistakes of My Life , 2 States & Revolution 2020: Love, Corruption, Ambition...

     writes all his novels in Garamond
    Garamond is the name given to a group of old-style serif typefaces named after the punch-cutter Claude Garamond . Most of the Garamond faces are more closely related to the work of a later punch-cutter, Jean Jannon...

     on Microsoft Word
    Microsoft Word
    Microsoft Word is a word processor designed by Microsoft. It was first released in 1983 under the name Multi-Tool Word for Xenix systems. Subsequent versions were later written for several other platforms including IBM PCs running DOS , the Apple Macintosh , the AT&T Unix PC , Atari ST , SCO UNIX,...

  • The large picture books of Dr. Seuss
    Dr. Seuss
    Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American writer, poet, and cartoonist most widely known for his children's books written under the pen names Dr. Seuss, Theo LeSieg and, in one case, Rosetta Stone....

     are set in a version of Garamond.
  • Nvidia
    Nvidia is an American global technology company based in Santa Clara, California. Nvidia is best known for its graphics processors . Nvidia and chief rival AMD Graphics Techonologies have dominated the high performance GPU market, pushing other manufacturers to smaller, niche roles...

     uses it in their scientific PDF documents.
  • All of the American editions of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter
    Harry Potter
    Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry...

     books are set in twelve-point Adobe Garamond, except Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling, and was published on 21 June 2003 by Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom, Scholastic in the United States, and Raincoast in Canada...

    , which is set in 11.5-point Adobe Garamond because it 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
    The Divine Comedy
    The Divine Comedy is an epic poem written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321. It is widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature...

     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
    -Computing:* Distributed transaction processing, in computer systems, usually refers to the X/Open model of co-ordinating transactions between multiple participants* Desktop publishing, a technological publishing method * Dynamic Trunking Protocol...

  • A variation on the Garamond typeface was adopted by Apple in 1984 upon the release of the Macintosh
    The Macintosh , or Mac, is a series of several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. The first Macintosh was introduced by Apple's then-chairman Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984; it was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a...

    . 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
    International Typeface Corporation
    The International Typeface Corporation was a type manufacturer founded in New York in 1970 by Aaron Burns, Herb Lubalin, and Edward Rondthaler. The company was one of the world's first type foundries to have no history in the production of metal type...

     and Bitstream
    Bitstream Inc.
    Bitstream Inc. is a type foundry that produces digital typefaces . Founded in 1981 by Matthew Carter and Mike Parker among others, it claims to be the oldest such company...

     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
    Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern
    Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern is a literary journal, first published in 1998, edited by Dave Eggers. The first issue featured only works rejected by other magazines, but thereafter the journal began to include pieces written with McSweeney's in mind. McSweeney’s has since published works by...

    was to use only a single font: Garamond 3. The editor of the journal, Dave Eggers
    Dave Eggers
    Dave Eggers is an American writer, editor, and publisher. He is known for the best-selling memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and for his more recent work as a screenwriter. He is also the co-founder of the literacy project 826 Valencia.-Life:Eggers was born in Boston, Massachusetts,...

    , 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
    O'Reilly Media
    O'Reilly Media is an American media company established by Tim O'Reilly that publishes books and Web sites and produces conferences on computer technology topics...

     books are set in ITC Garamond Light.
  • The logo of clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch
    Abercrombie & Fitch
    Abercrombie & Fitch is an American retailer that focuses on casual wear for consumers aged 18 to 22. It has over 300 locations in the United States, and is expanding internationally....

     uses a variation of the Garamond typeface.
  • Also the Garamond text is used on the 1985 Nintendo
    is a multinational corporation located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it produced handmade hanafuda cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as a cab company and a love hotel....

    's video game consoles in italic form (after the text "Nintendo Entertainment System
    Nintendo Entertainment System
    The Nintendo Entertainment System is an 8-bit video game console that was released by Nintendo in North America during 1985, in Europe during 1986 and Australia in 1987...

    " or NES
    -Localities:In Norway:* Nes, Akershus, a municipality in the county of Akershus in Norway* Nes, Buskerud, a municipality in the county of Buskerud in Norway* Nes, Hedmark, a former municipality in the county of Hedmark in Norway...

    ) to describe the various version of the consoles.


  • Carter, Rob; Ben Day, Philip Meggs. Typographic Design: Form and Communication, Second Edition. Van Nostrand Reinhold, Inc: 1993. ISBN 0-442-00759-0.
  • Lawson, Alexander S. Anatomy of a Typeface
    Anatomy of a Typeface
    Anatomy of a Typeface is a book on typefaces written by Alexander Lawson. The book is notable for devoting entire chapters to the development and uses of individual or small groupings of typefaces. Beyond Anatomy of a Typeface Lawson has considered and discussed the classification of types. Within...

    . Godine: 1990. ISBN 978-0-87923-333-4.
  • Loxley, Simon. The Secret History of Letters. I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd: 2004. ISBN 1-85043-397-6/978-1850433972.
  • Updike, Daniel Berkeley. Printing Types: Their History, Forms and Use. Dover Publications, Inc: 1937, 1980. ISBN 0-486-23929-2.

External links