RIP Hermann Zapf

I’m up to my neck in work - as in I haven’t slept in the last 42 hours - but wanted to quickly post to all the wonderful people at Briar Press that Hermann Zapf passed away a few weeks ago (apologies if someone posted this already).

Zapf created many iconic typefaces such as Palatino, Optima, and of course the eponymous Zapf Dingbats. Probably without even realizing it, we are all surrounded by his work every day.

Nice obituary from New York Times:

I took almost two years of computer prepress classes from one of Zapf’s students, Mr. Dave Cuatt at Pasadena City College, over 20 years ago. Cuatt really created a passion in me about fonts and designs, which I’m sure he inherited from Zapf (Dave has become a dear personal friend of mine and still teaches at the college). Those classes made me a better printer and designer. I consider Zapf my grand-teacher, and I wish I had the privilege and honor of meeting him.

RIP, Mr. Zapf, and thank you. Your life was a legacy.

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Zapf’s death occurred on June 4.

I was fortunate to have met him and was able to attend several of his lectures given during his stay at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh in 1962. His work was amazing, the skill with which he drew characters in chalk on the black board held everyone in awe, and his type designs were wonderful. I have tried to get full runs of Optima in my Linotype collection, and have a few others like Melior and Palatino. We still have a number of Stemple cast fonts of Zapf’s type on our shelves. It is beautiful type. And he was a master of his craft.

For those interested in Zapf’s types, Gerstenberg in Darmstadt has – apart from 7 million other matrices – got the matrices for Palatino, Optima, but also for the rare Hunt founts.