Infobox font
name = Garamond

style = Serif
classifications = Old style serif
creator = Claude Garamond Jean Jannon
shown_here = Stempel Garamond

Garamond is the name given to a group of old style serif typefaces named for the punch-cutter Claude Garamond (c. 1480-1561). A majority of the typefaces named Garamond 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 versions of the typefaces Sabon, Granjon, Stempel Garamond, and Adobe Garamond.

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 came to prominence in the 1540s, first for a Greek typeface he was commissioned to create for the French king Francis I, to be used in a series of books by Robert Estienne. The French court later adopted Garamond's Roman types for their printing and the typeface influenced type across France and Western Europe. Garamond had likely seen Venetian old style types from the printing shops of Aldus Manutius. Garamond based much of the design of his lowercase on the handwriting 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 be used on many printers. This version became popular in Europe.

The only complete set of the original Garamond dies and matrices can be found at the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp, Belgium.

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 had raided Jannon's printing office, Cardinal Richelieu named the Jannon's type as "Caractère de l'Université" [ [ Garamond & the Boys] ] , and it became the house style of Royal Printing Office.

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 and Morris Fuller Benton produced the first 20th century commercial Garamond based on the Jannon's design, called Garamond #3.


Revivals of the Garamond type can be found as early as 1900, when a typeface based on the work of Jean Jannon was introduced at the Paris World’s Fair as 'Original Garamond,' whereafter many type foundries began to cast similar types, beginning a wave of revivals that would continue throughout the 20th Century. [ [ Type Gallery - Garamond] ] Revivals of Garamond in 20th century followed the designs from Claude Garamond or Jean Jannon. The designs of italic fonts primarily came from a version produced by Robert Granjon. In a 1926 article in The Fleuron by Beatrice Warde, it revealed many of the revivals claimed to be based on Claude Garamond's designs were actually designed by Jean Jannon. However, by that time the Garamond name had stuck.

Known digital versions include Adobe Garamond, Monotype Garamond, Simoncini Garamond, and Stempel Garamond. The typefaces Granjon and Sabon (designed by Jan Tschichold) 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 (ITC), that being an exaggerated increase in the x-height, and a wide range of weights from light to ultra bold, and a condensed width also in weights from light to ultra bold.

Contemporary use of Garamond types

The Harry Potter Books

All of the American editions of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books are typeset in twelve point Adobe Garamond. [cite web |url= |title=Adobe Garamond in the Harry Potter books — not a character but a font |accessdate=2008-10-10 |]

Apple Garamond

A variation on the Garamond typeface was adopted by Apple in 1984 upon the release of the Macintosh. 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 and Bitstream 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. [cite web |url= |title=ITC Garamond Font Family |accessdate=2007-01-19 |]


*Simon Loxley. "The Secret History of Letters". I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd: 2004. ISBN 1850433976/978-1850433972.
*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". Godine: 1990. ISBN 978-0879233334.
*Updike, Daniel Berkeley. "Printing Types Their History, Forms and Use." Dover Publications, Inc: 1937, 1980. ISBN 0-486-23929-2.

External links

* [ Typophile: Garamond]
* [ Just what makes a “Garamond” a Garamond?]
* [ jGaramond] : Free Garamond-based TrueType font (deprecated by the author)
* [ Garamond v Garamond | Physiology of a typeface]
* [ Illuminating Letters #1: Garamond]

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