Garamond & the Boys

Claude Garamond's legacy is rather complex and one which I had been meaning to figure out for myself for a while. After a bit of reading and researching I think I now have most of it down. It begins with Garamond's death in 1561 when his estate was sold and dispersed throughout Europe, to Antwerp, Holland, with Christophe Plantin, to Frankfurt, Germany, with André Wechel and Jacques Sabon, the latter a student of Garamond's, and to Italy with Guillaume Le Bé. These men, together with Robert Granjon, another one of Garamond's students who worked with Plantin for several years, form the first branch of the “Garamond” heritage.

The second branch appears later, in 1621, when a punchcutter and typefounder named Jean Jannon issued a new type, known as the “caractères de l'Université,” inspired by Garamond's work. Twenty years later Jannon's type found its way into the collection of the Royal Printing Office—now National Printing Office—where it would eventually be attributed to Claude Garamond. It remains unclear to me whether Jannon willingly sold his type to the Royal Printing Office or whether his punches or matrices were taken from him, a Protestant living in a Catholic society. Regardless, Jannon's design served as reference for “Garamond” revivals until 1927 when Beatrice Warde set the record straight in an article in The Fleuron tracing the National Printing Office's “Garamond” back to its original designer.

From these two branches come all of the Garamond-like types drawn in the 20th century. From the second branch, that of the mistaken identity, we get ATF's 1917 “Garamond” by Morris F. Benton and T.M. Cleland; Linotype's 1936 “Garamond No. 3” derived from Benton and Cleland's “Garamond”; and ITC's 1977 “Garamond” by Tony Stan who reworked Benton and Cleland's “Garamond.” Others from the same branch include Lanston Monotype's 1921 “Garamont” by Frederic Goudy; Interetype's 1927 “Garamond”; Bauer's 1961 “Simoncini Garamond” by Francesco Simoncini; and “Garamond Classico” by Franko Luin in 1993.

From the first branch, that of Claude Garamond's students, comes a different set of types considered truer to the master's original design including Monotype's 1913 “Plantin” by F.H. Pierpont—which served as the inspiration for Times New Roman; Stempel's 1925 “Stempel Garamond”; Linotype's 1928 “Granjon” by George Jones; Ludlow Typograph Company's 1930 “Garamond” by R. Hunter Middleton; Stempel's 1964 “Sabon” by Jan Tschichold; Linotype's 1978 “Galliard” by Matthew Carter; and finally Adobe's 1989 “Adobe Garamond” by Robert Slimbach.

Many designers following the first Garamond branch worked from the 1592 Egenolff-Berner specimen printed by Sabon's foundry twelve years after his death—his wife, Judith Egenolff, had then remarried to another typefounder, Konrad Berner. The specimen includes not only Claude Garamond's original roman but also Granjon's famed italics.

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