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The original Sabon was designed by Jan Tschichold in 1967 for D. Stempel AG. The typeface was commissioned by a group of German printers, who wanted a good text face that would appear the same on all three metal type mechanisms used at the time (hand-set foundry type, the Linotype Machine, and the Monotype Machine). Its design was based on Garamond.
Sabon was later converted for use on photo-typesetting machines. Still later, it was made available in digital format. The digital Sabon is distributed by Linotype. In 2001–2002, Jean François Porchez revived and extended Sabon, creating the type family Sabon Next. Sabon Next is distributed by Linotype, and is part of their Platinum Collection.