Hermann Zapf

anonymous's picture

On the ever-popular subject of proper pronounciation:

Hermann Zapf.

Is it "zap" or "zaf"? (Or neither?)

hdschellnack's picture

Hmmm... there's no phonetic font here ;-D.
And I don't know how to translete the phonetics into English properly. In German, its spoken just as it's written.

Bald Condensed's picture

In German, its spoken just as it's written.

LOL HD, brilliant quote. :-)

Do you pronounce the 'p' preceding the 'f' or not? And is the 'Z' an even sound or is it more like 'tz'?

hdschellnack's picture

(T)zapf. The Z is not too soft, the a is open, as in A-ha, the pf like the sound of a hydraulic door opening :-D.

trajan's picture

I had some uptight designer/know-it-all come in one day and specify that she wanted her bold headlines set in "Gheel Sahns." I asked her if that was the same thing as Gill Sans, and she said yes, but that I was mispronouncing it. I replied that I didn't know Eric Gill was French since he was from England. That shut her up.

In retrospect, though, I don't know how Eric pronounced his last name. Soft G or hard?

matha_standun's picture

In retrospect, though, I don't know how Eric pronounced his last name. Soft G or hard?

Hard. Except when he wasn't feeling too well and he didn't pronounce the 'G' at all.

But in France he's 'Gilles' and there's no changing it. In the end, though, who cares. There are much more important things in life than the correct pronunciation of the names of typefaces.

Matha

trajan's picture

"There are much more important things in life than the correct pronunciation of the names of typefaces."

Not if (a) you deal with these names everyday, and (b) respect the people who designed them.
By your answer, it's apparent that you do not.

I wish, somewhere on this site, a page could be created with the proper pronounciation of all the great typefaces/designers. Otherwise the question is just going to keep coming up again and again.

antiuser's picture

That would be nice indeed, Andrew.
Maybe start a thread about it and just have people post the names with correct pronounciation on there?

trajan's picture

Yes, but that only discusses a few names, as have other threads in the past of a similar nature. I'm talking about an all-encompassing list of all the big names [and some small ones too].

According to HHP in that thread, Goudy is pronounced "Gawdi"(?) Was that a joke?

hrant's picture

No joke.
BTW, just call me hhp.

hhp

trajan's picture

Uh, well, I didn't know the guy personally but I've always assumed it was "Gow-dee," the 'gow' rhyming with cow.

matha_standun's picture

I'll let you in on a little secret, Andrew, if you promise not to tell anyone.

All over the world there are a hell of a lot of Graphic Designers using typefaces with exotic/foreign names every day. A high proportion of them don't pronounce 'Gill' exactly as Gill himself would have done. What does that change? Do they respect his work any less that you? And what about non-French designers trying to pronounce French names? I don't think they're going to win any pronunciation contests.

Not if (a) you deal with these names everyday, and (b) respect the people who designed them.
By your answer, it's apparent that you do not


This is total hypocrisy coming from someone who admits to shutting up an uptight know-it-all because she mispronouned a typeface name. Try a little more respect for people, Andrew, and a little less for typeface names.

And I advise you to reread your posts. Do you really mean to suggest that there is nothing more important in the world that correctly pronouncing a typeface name?

Don't be a chauvinist. Self is not the yardstick of truth.

Matha Donnchadh Stand

Joe Pemberton's picture

:: Puts librarian glasses on bridge of nose ::

Try this thread: http://www.typophile.com/forums/messages/30/675.html

:: Removes glasses ::

antiuser's picture

Since he's German, I'd say it's "tzaff".
I might be wrong, though :-)

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