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Claude Garamond

Claude Garamond (c.1480–1561) was a Parisian publisher. He was one of the leading type designers of his time, and several contemporary typefaces, including those named Garamond, Granjon, and Sabon show his influence. He was a true renaissance man who introduced the apostrophe, the accent and the cedilla to the French language. Garamond was disciple of Simon de Colines, later he was assistant of Geoffroy Tory, who was concerned with human proportions and those of the ancient majuscules, as well as their mutual relation.

Garamond came to prominence in 1541, when three of his Greek typefaces (e.g. the Grec du roi (1541)) were requested for a royally ordered book series by Robert Estienne. Garamond based them on the handwritings of Angelo Vergecio, the King's Librarian at Fontainebleau, and his ten-year-old pupil, Henri Estienne. According to Arthur Tilley, the editions are "among the most finished specimens of typography that exist." Garamond's Roman were created shortly thereafter, and his influence rapidly spread throughout and beyond France during the 1540s.

Garamond's name was originally spelled with a 't' at the end, but under the influence of standardized French spelling, the 'd' became customary and stuck.

The French printer Jean Jannon (1580–1635) created a type specimen with attributes similar to the designs of Garamond in 1621, sixty years after the master's death. However alike, his letterforms carried a slightly different slope and axis with greater asymmetricality. The typefaces of Jannon were lost from use for more than a century until they were rediscovered at the National Printing Office of France in 1825, and wrongly attributed to Garamond. It was not until 1927, more than 100 years later, that the true origin of Jannon's "Garamond" typefaces were correctly credited to him through scholarly research by Beatrice Warde. In the early 20th century, the typefaces by Jannon were used to produce a history of French printing, which brought new attention to French typography and the "Garamond" type style. This began the modern revivals of Claude Garamond's typography, much of which has been inadvertently modeled on Jannon's outstanding work.[1]



  • Tilley, Arthur (1900). "Humanism under Francis I". The English Historical Review 15 (59): 456–478.  
  • Lane, John A. (August 2005). "Claude Garamont and his Roman Type". in Adobe Systems (ed.). Garamond Premier Pro: A Contemporary Adaptation. Adobe Systems. pp. 5–13.   A survey of Claude Garamond's careerasd and typefaces, of Robert Granjon's italic types which were combined with Garamond roman types, and a brief summary of subsequent revivals through Garamond Premier Pro.
  • Kapr, Albert (1983) (in German). Schriftkunst. Geschichte, Anatomie und Schönheit der lateinischen Buchstaben. Munich.  

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