Hermann Zapf (1918 – 2015) German Typographer and Calligrapher

Hermann Zapf

Hermann Zapf (1918 – 2015) was born and educated in Nuremberg. Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse, a calligrapher and typeface designer, was his wife. Palatino, Optima, and Zapfino are some of the typefaces he developed.

Education

He learned calligraphy privately from Edward Johnston and Rudolf Koch’s manuals before working at Paul Koch’s Haus zum Fursteneck type foundry in Frankfurt. He was brought to the Stempel Foundry in Frankfurt in the late 1930s and began his career in type design there.

Zapf Dingbats designed by Hermann Zapf
Zapf Dingbats designed by Hermann Zapf

Biography

In 1941, he created his first blackletter typeface, but the Second World War cut short his career. Roman typefaces were needed for re-stocking in the post-war context when German printers and founders were reconstructing factories damaged by bombing. Palatino (1949), based on classical Italian letterforms, is one of Zapf’s most well-known designs. Melior (1952), a newspaper face, and Optima (1958), a “serifless” roman, were among the renowned faces that followed. His type creations, including family variations and titling fonts, number in the hundreds and cover the evolution of technology over the last 50 years, from hot metal to film to digital type design.

Sources

Bringhurst, R. (2019). The elements of typographic style. Hartley & Marks, Publishers. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from https://amzn.to/3DVhB6V.

Carter, S. (1995). Twentieth Century type designers. Norton. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from https://amzn.to/3SkJSbr.

Dormer, P. (1991). The illustrated dictionary of twentieth century designers. Mallard Press.

Wallis, L. W. (1990). Modern encyclopedia of typefaces, 1960-90. Van Nostrand Reinhold. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from https://amzn.to/3Sl0YG8.

Advertisements

Typography – Amazon

More Graphic Designers

  • Dan Friedman (1945 – 1995) American Graphic Designer

    Dan Friedman (1945 – 1995) American Graphic Designer

    Dan Friedman (1945–1995) was a prolific graphic and furniture designer, artist, writer, and educator. Friedman’s work posed a radical challenge to tradition and commodification in design practice. His work is held in the collections of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.Read More →

  • Giovanni Pintori (1912 – 1999) Italian Graphic Design

    Giovanni Pintori (1912 – 1999) Italian Graphic Design

    Giovanni Pintori (1912–1999) was an Italian graphic designer best known for his advertising work with Olivetti. His posters for the Lettera 22 and Olivetti logo are renowned for their use of geometric shapes and minimalist design. Read More →

  • Poster for Nikon (1957) by Yusaku Kamekura

    Poster for Nikon (1957) by Yusaku Kamekura

    Yusaku Kamekura’s poster emphasises the brilliance and clarity attained with the Nikon lens and the technical perfection of his client’s camera by using brilliant optical patterns and powerful, white letter-forms against an intensely dark background. Read More →

  • René Kieffer (1875 -1964) – French Bookbinder

    René Kieffer (1875 -1964) – French Bookbinder

    René Kieffer was a gilder at the Chambolle-Duru bindery for ten years. In 1903, set up his workshop at 99 boulevard St-Germain, Paris. Later he moved to 41 rue St-Andre-des-Arts and finally, in 1910, to 18 rue Seguier. A disciple of Henri Marius ­Michel, his work shifted from classical forms to motifs in the Art Nouveau style.Read More →

  • Paul Bacon (1923 – 2015) – created looks for books

    Paul Bacon (1923 – 2015) – created looks for books

    Paul Bacon was not a household name, but anyone who has a passion for books will have seen his works. Bacon was an artist, who used minimal imagery and bold typography to sell famous novels such as, “Catch 22” by Joseph Heller, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest’s and Phillip Roth’s “Portnoy’s complaint?Read More →

  • Robert Oxenaar (b.1939) Designer of Dutch Banknotes

    Robert Oxenaar (b.1939) Designer of Dutch Banknotes

    Robert Oxenaar (1929 – 2017) Designer of Dutch banknotes and stamps. Head of the Art and Design branch of the Dutch postal service. Helped launch a new generation of Dutch designers in the 1970s, including notables like Gert Dumbar.Read More →

  • Herbert Bayer (1900 – 1985) American multi-disciplined designer

    Herbert Bayer (1900 – 1985) American multi-disciplined designer

    Herbert Bayer was one of the Bauhaus’s most influential students, teachers, and proponents. Most of Bayer’s photographs come from the decade 1928–38, when he was based in Berlin working as a commercial artist. He designed the show Road to Victory (1942), which would set the course for Steichen’s influential approach to photography.Read More →

  • Hiroshi Awatsuji (1929 – 1995) Japanese Textile Designer

    Hiroshi Awatsuji (1929 – 1995) Japanese Textile Designer

    Hiroshi Awatsuji (1929- 1995) was a Japanese textile and graphic designer: born in Kyoto. He was considered the first Japanese textile designer to be recognised for contemporary design rather than for traditional art and craft. The main characteristic of his work was over sized motifs.Read More →

  • Ikko Tanaka (1930 -2002) 🇯🇵 Graphic Design blend of East and West

    Ikko Tanaka (1930 -2002)  🇯🇵 Graphic Design blend of East and West

    Ikko Tanaka was a Leading Graphic Designer in Japan. He had an enormous impact on the post-war visual culture in Japan.Read More →

  • František Zelenka (1896 – 1942) – Czech architect and stage and graphic designer.

    František Zelenka (1896 – 1942) – Czech architect and stage and graphic designer.

    František Zelenka (1896 – 1942) was a Czech architect and stage and graphic designer. He was born in Prague. Zelenka’s career in the theatre was initiated by K.H. Hilar, the National Theatre director in Prague in 1926.Read More →

  • Selwyn Image (1849- 1930) British Priest, Artist, Designer

    Selwyn Image (1849- 1930) British Priest, Artist, Designer

    In 1873, Image was ordained a priest in the Church of England. From 1882, he was associated with A.H. Mackmurdo in forming the Century Guild and designed the first issue (1884) of the Guild’s publication, The Hobby Horse. Read More →

  • Hermann Zapf (1918 – 2015) German Typographer and Calligrapher

    Hermann Zapf (1918 – 2015) German Typographer and Calligrapher

    Hermann Zapf (1918 – 2015) was born and educated in Nuremberg. Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse, a calligrapher and typeface designer, was his wife. Palatino, Optima, and Zapfino are some of the typefaces he developed.Read More →

  • Laura Knight (1877 – 1970) British Painter and Ceramicist

    Laura Knight (1877 – 1970) British Painter and Ceramicist

    She was a juror of the 1922 Carnegie International competition, Pittsburgh. She designed both the shapes and the decorations for the 1933—34 Circus range of tableware produced by Arthur J. Wilkinson, Burslem, under Clarice Cliff’s supervision.Read More →

  • Herbert Matter (1907 – 1984) Swiss Designer and Photographer

    Herbert Matter (1907 – 1984) Swiss Designer and Photographer

    Herbert Matter (April 25, 1907 – May 8, 1984) was a Swiss-born American photographer and graphic designer known for his pioneering use of photomontage in commercial art.Read More →

  • Keith Haring (1958 – 1990) – art that danced

    Keith Haring (1958 – 1990)  – art that danced

    Keith Haring was best known for his graffiti-like painting, initially on the black paper used to cover discontinued billboard advertisements in the New York subway. After after a feverish 1980’s style career of surging popular success and grudging critical attention, Haring died of AIDS in 1991 at the age of 31.Read More →

  • Hermann Bongard Norwegian graphic & glassware designer

    Hermann Bongard Norwegian graphic & glassware designer

    Hermann Bongard Norwegian graphic designer and glassware designer. He studied lithography and commercial design. Read MoreRead More →

  • Alexey Brodovitch (1898 – 1971) 🇺🇸 🇷🇺 graphic designer and magazine art director

    Alexey Brodovitch (1898 – 1971) 🇺🇸 🇷🇺  graphic designer and magazine art director

    Alexey Brodovitch (1898 – 1971) was an American/Russian graphic designer and magazine art director. Alexey Brodovitch was born in Russia and worked in Paris in the 1920s, creating books, posters, furniture, and advertising. He moved to America in 1930 and worked as the art director of Harper’s Bazaar magazine in New York after a brief stint of teaching and advertising.Read More →

  • William Dwiggins (1880 -1956) – Typographer and all-rounder

    William Dwiggins (1880 -1956) – Typographer and all-rounder

    Dwiggins was known for his “Metro” series of typefaces, the first designed specifically for newspaper headlines. He produced that in 1929 when he won the gold medal of the American Institute of Graphic Arts.Read More →

  • Rut Bryk (1916 – 1999) Swedish ceramicist/graphic/textile designer

    Rut Bryk (1916 – 1999) Swedish ceramicist/graphic/textile designer

    In 1942, she worked for the pottery Arabia, Helsinki; from 1959, she was a freelance ceramics designer with Rosenthal, Selb. From the 1960s, she worked for Vassa Cotton Company.Read More →

  • Pierluigi Cerri (b.1939) Italian Architect/Graphic/Exhibition Designer

    Pierluigi Cerri (b.1939) Italian Architect/Graphic/Exhibition Designer

    He was active as an exhibition designer, designed 1978 ‘Peter Behrens und die AEG’ exhibition, Berlin; 1978 ‘Carrozzeria Italiana’ exhibition, Turin and Rome; 1981 ‘Identité Italienne,’ Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; 1983 ‘Alexander Calder’ exhibition, Turin; 1984 ‘Italian Design,’ Stuttgart and Tokyo; 1984 ‘Venti Progetti per il futuro del Lingotto,’ Turin; 1986 ‘Futurismo e Futurismi,’ Venice. Industrial design clients included B&B Italia, Fiat, IBM, Molteni, Unifor, Missoni, and Marotto.Read More →

  • Zdeněk Rossmann (1905 – 1984) Czech Book Designer, Architect

    Zdeněk Rossmann (1905 – 1984) Czech Book Designer, Architect

    He was a member of the Devétsil group from 1923 until its closure in 1931 and the Brno Devétsil group 1923-27. He designed publications, including Pasmo (1924—27) and the Fronta compendium (1927). His work was based on the principles of Bayer and Tschichold.Read More →

  • Abram Games (1914 – 1996) British graphic and industrial designer

    Abram Games (1914 – 1996) British graphic and industrial designer

    In acknowledging his power as a propagandist, he claimed, “I wind the spring and the public, in looking at the poster, will have that spring released in its mind.” Read More →

  • William Caxton (1422 – 1491) Father of English Printing

    William Caxton (1422 – 1491) Father of English Printing

    William Caxton learned about the mystery of printing in the Low Countries, and it was in Bruges that he translated a French work, ” The Tales of Troy, ” through his printing press.Read More →

  • Michael Peters (b. 1941) British Graphic Designer

    Michael Peters (b. 1941) British Graphic Designer

    The 1980s in Britain were marked by an apparent economic rebound and a newfound enthusiasm among Britons for business, risky capitalism, and design. Design was pushed as a fundamental ingredient to financial success by a new generation of design entrepreneurs, one of them being Michael Peters.Read More →

  • Herbert Bayer: Inspiration and Process in Design

    Herbert Bayer: Inspiration and Process in Design

    Herbert Bayer (1900–1985) was one of the most influential graphic designers of the twentieth century, with a prolific career spanning more than six decades and two continents. As a student and teacher at the Bauhaus, he used geometry, photomontage, functional analysis, and simplified typography to forge a new approach to graphic design. This book explores the evolution of Bayer’s design process, from his student works featuring hand lettering to mechanically printed typography and hyperreal photo illustrations.Read More →

  • Karel Teige (1900 – 1951) Czech art critic, typographic artist and collagist

    Karel Teige (1900 – 1951) Czech art critic, typographic artist and collagist

    Between the wars, Teige was a prominent figure in Czech art and architecture. He was the editor of many avant-garde magazines, including Disk, Stavba, and ReD, and wrote about photography. Read More →

  • Alexander Girard (1907 – 1993) American interior, & Textile designer

    Alexander Girard (1907 – 1993) American interior,  & Textile designer

    Alexander Girard (1907 – 1993) was a man of many design talents. He trained asRead More →

  • Herb Lubalin (1918 – 1981) renowned graphic designer

    Herb Lubalin (1918 – 1981) renowned graphic designer

    Renowned American graphic designer, Herb Lubalin, best known for his collaborations with Ralph Ginzburg on the magazines Eros, Fact and  Avant Garde,  is regarded as one of the seminal designers of the 20th century. The, 17 March 2018, will mark what would have been Lubalin’s 100th birthday.Read More →

  • Enid Crystal Dorothy Marx (1902 – 1998) British textile and graphic designer

    Enid Crystal Dorothy Marx (1902 – 1998) British textile and graphic designer

    Designs for London Underground seats. She studied painting and wood engraving at the Royal College of Art in London, as well as at the Central School of Arts and Crafts.Read More →

  • Stanley Morison (1889-1967) – Designer of Times New Roman typeface

    Stanley Morison (1889-1967)  – Designer of Times New Roman typeface

    Stanley Morison, widely regarded as one of the most influential typographic designers of the twentieth century, was drawn to the subject by his passionate interest. Early on, he worked for several publishers and printing houses, including Francis Meynell’s Pelican Press and the Cloister Press. Read More →

  • Milton Glaser (1929 – 2020) American Graphic Designer

    Milton Glaser (1929 – 2020) American Graphic Designer

    Co-founder of Push Tin Studios. The colourful posters of designer-illustrator Milton Glaser epitomise an era for the Woodstock generation. His psychedelic ‘American Sixties style’ was a synthesis of various influences ranging from Surrealism to Islamic painting.Read More →

  • Paul Follot (1877 – 1941) French decorative artist and sculptor

    Paul Follot (1877 – 1941) French decorative artist and sculptor

    His early graphic design reflected a fascination with mediaeval and Pre-Raphaelite art. He joined Julius Meier-shop Graefe’s La Maison Moderne in Paris in 1901. He met Maurice Dufréne and designed bronzes, jewellery, and fabrics.Read More →

  • William Dwiggins (1880-1956) – Typographer and all rounder

    William Dwiggins (1880-1956) – Typographer and all rounder

    Dwiggins was born in Martinsville, Ohio in 1880, he had studied East in Chicago, and then he moved to Boston.  Between the years 1917-1918, he became the acting director of the Harvard University Press.  He also worked for the Yale Universty Press, designing jackets, endpapers, bindings and posters.Read More →

  • Massimo Vignelli designer of subway maps to corporate logos

    Massimo Vignelli designer of subway maps to corporate logos

    Massimo Vignelli and his wife Leila, an architect, were considered a husband and wife team credited with introducing restrained, European fashion and taste in America in the 1970s.Read More →

  • Marcello Minale (1938 – 2000) Italian designer

    Marcello Minale (1938 – 2000) Italian designer

    He worked as a designer at the Finnish advertising agency Taucker and as an art director at Mackkinointi Uiherjuuri. He was the design director at the Young and Rubicam advertising agency in London until 1964. He founded a design firm with Brian Tattersfield in 1964. Read More →

  • Wolfgang Weingart – Swiss Typographer and Designer

    Wolfgang Weingart – Swiss Typographer and Designer

    What is the most memorable piece of typography you have come across? “I’ll go for Typographic Process, Nr. 4 Typographic Signs designed by Wolfgang Weingart in 1971 because it was one of the first designs with typography as the main element and the one that inspired me the most.”Read More →

  • Michele Provinciali (1921 – 2009) Italian Industrial Designer

    Michele Provinciali (1921 – 2009) Italian Industrial Designer

    He received the ADI’s Compasso d’Oro Award for his career in 2008. Michele Provinciali provides an alternative trend to the late rationalist approach typical of the postwar period in every art form. He is expressive, poetic, experimental, abnormal, and refined in every art form.Read More →

  • Edward Bawden British painter, illustrator and graphic designer

    Edward Bawden British painter, illustrator and graphic designer

    Edward Bawden was a British painter, illustrator, and graphic artist. Bawden studied at the Cambridge School of Art from 1919 to 1922 and at the Royal College of Art from 1922 to 1925, where Paul Nash was one of his teachers and Eric Ravilious was a close friend. Read More →

  • Beauty through the eyes of Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh

    Beauty through the eyes of Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh

    Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh have been contemplating the concept of beauty. This may seem unsurprising, given that both are designers at the top of the design food chain, and aesthetics, you’d think, would be a constant priority.Read More →

  • studio de Ronners – Design Inspiration for Print Lovers ♥︎

    studio de Ronners – Design Inspiration for Print Lovers ♥︎

    Studio de Ronners is an agency for graphic communication and concepting. In collaboration with their clients — we develop provocative concepts. Read More →

  • David Gentleman (b.1930) British graphic artist & designer

    David Gentleman (b.1930) British graphic artist & designer

    His subjects are paintings of landscapes, environmental posters and sketches of street life, and protest signs. He has written and illustrated several books, most of them are about countries and cities. He also produced several commemorative postage stamps for the United Kingdom.Read More →

  • Milner Gray (1899 – 1997) British Industrial & Graphic Designer

    Milner Gray (1899 – 1997) British Industrial & Graphic Designer

    Gray was a fellow student and friend of artist-designer Graham Sutherland at Goldsmiths College School of Art, London University, where he studied painting and design. He served in the Royal Engineers during WWI when he was involved in camouflage work like other famous artists and designers from both wars. Read More →

  • Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (1895 – 1946) Hungarian Designer – Applied Arts

    Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (1895 – 1946) Hungarian Designer – Applied Arts

    In Budapest, he studied law, while elsewhere, he studied sketching and painting. During World War I, he began drawing and became interested in Kasimir Malevich and El Lissitzky. Read More →

  • Nikolai Mikhailovich Suetin Russian artist, ceramicist and designer

    Nikolai Mikhailovich Suetin Russian artist, ceramicist and designer

    Nikolai Mikhailovich Suetin (1897-1954) was a Russian artist, ceramicist, and designer. He was born in Metlevsk Station Kaluga. He was the husband of Anna Leporskaia. Between 1918-22, he studied Vitebsk Art School. He became a member of Kazimir Malevich’s Posnovis/Unovis group in 1919, and, with Il’ia Chashnik, was one of Malevich’s closest collaborators. Read More →

  • Neville Brody (b.1957) British Art Director

    Neville Brody (b.1957) British Art Director

    Neville Brody rose to prominence during the early 1980s surge of “designerism”: a period when the British economy was considered to be expanding, marketing, promotion, and “cultural entrepreneurship” were in the air, and young culture was a money-spinner.Read More →

  • Otl Aicher (1922 – 1991) German industrial and graphic designer

    Otl Aicher (1922 – 1991) German industrial and graphic designer

    From 1946 to 1947, Otl Aicher (1922 – 1991) attended the Munich Academy of Fine Arts. He later became closely affiliated with Ulm’s highly influential and radical Hochschule Für Gestaltung after founding a studio there the following year.Read More →

  • Extra Bold: A Feminist, Inclusive, Anti-racist, Nonbinary Field Guide for Graphic Designers

    Extra Bold: A Feminist, Inclusive, Anti-racist, Nonbinary Field Guide for Graphic Designers

    Through essays, interviews, artwork, typeface and beyond, lesser heard voices at various stages of their careers are given a platform to share insights from the inside. Along with information on hiring processes, power structures, mentoring, workplace discrimination and more, Extra Bold aims to make the world of design a little more accessible.Read More →

  • Robert Bonfils (1886 – 1972) French Graphic Artist, Painter and Designer

    Robert Bonfils (1886 – 1972) French Graphic Artist, Painter and Designer

    Born in Paris, Robert Bonfils was a French graphic artist, painter, and designer. He studied at the École Germain-Pilon in 1903 and at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1906. He worked for Henri Hamm, a furniture designer. His work included paintings, bookbindings, ceramics for Sèvres, Bianchini-Frerier silk, wallpaper and interior design layouts. He designed the tea room at the Au Printemps department store in Paris. With depictions of the seasons, he decorated the wall.Read More →

  • Saul Bass (1920 – 1996 ) opening and closing titles

    Saul Bass (1920 – 1996 ) opening and closing titles

    When the Frank Sinatra film on drug addiction “The Man With The Golden Arm” opened, a Saul Bass poster dominated the cinema billboards. No words, only artwork- a jagged arm.Read More →

  • William Morris – Beauty of Practicality

    William Morris – Beauty of Practicality

    Morris believed his responsibility was “to revive a sense of beauty in home life, to restore the dignity of art to household decoration.Read More →

  • 30 Wonderful Color Photos of Norway in the 1960s

    30 Wonderful Color Photos of Norway in the 1960s

    A delightful set of photo postcards made in Norway in the 1960s. Wonderfully, nearly all the cards in the set include a cheerful red car (of various makes), merrily making its way through the Norwegian countryside. The postcards thus evoke a series of personal snapshots of one person’s road-trip.Read More →

  • Gustav Klutisis (1895 -1944) photographic montage

    Gustav Klutisis (1895 -1944) photographic montage

    Gustav Klutsis was a Latvian artist and graphic, poster and applied arts designer. Born in 1895 Klutsis was a devoted supporter of the Boshevik regime and he was a member of the communist party. He was considered the pioneer of photomontage in the Soviet Union and an acclaimed graphic designer and painter. Klutsis was one of the earliest artists to use the photomontage technique for visual propaganda.  He subsequently emerged as a brilliant creator of Stalinist political art.Read More →

  • Paris: May 1968 Posters of the Student Revolt

    Paris: May 1968 Posters of the Student Revolt

    In the turbulent days of May 1968 in Paris, a group of artists calling themselves the Atelier Populaire created posters that were vital in spreading the call to unite student and workers.  The propaganda of the French revolt was fed by immediate pressures.  The day by day events – the disruption of classes at Nanterre University led by Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the supporting student demonstrations in Paris, the police invasion of the Sorbonne and its occupation by students, the barricades, and the government’s reaction and referendum…Read More →

  • Stunning 4D Animation by Besjan Sertolli

    Stunning 4D Animation by Besjan Sertolli

    Besjan Sertolli, a graphic designer based in Kosovo, produced the video project entitled “Volume”. We discover animations made in 4D and representatives of ephemeral geometric shapes, which disappear in smoke. Most ? The bright colors present in the project. They offer a very esthetic rendering. His work is to be discovered on Behance.Read More →

You may also be interested in

Hermann Gretsch (1895 – 1950) designer for Arzberg

Hermann Gretsch (1895 – 1950) was a German architect, engineer and product designer. In the 1930s, Gretsch worked for the Porzellanfabrik Arzberg. This German ceramics manufacturer is perhaps most widely recognized in the history of design for its clearly articulated, undecorated, yet distinctive white designs by Gretsch, the 1382 tableware service of 1931.

Hermann Obrist (1862-1927) Swiss Sculptor and Designer

Hermann Obrist was a Swiss sculptor and designer. He was most active in Germany. A leading figure in the evolution of Jugendstil in Munich, Obrist was inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement, which he had experienced when he visited Britain in 1897. He studied medicine and natural sciences and from 1888, ceramics.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.