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Hermann Zapf designed Palatino for D. Stempel AG 1948–1950. The design proved successful, and the type grew into a family. Palatino, which was originally designed for hand setting, was quickly adapted for mechanical composition on the Linotype Machine.
The following relatives were all designed by Zapf in the 1950s for Stempel:
Aldus is a version of Palatino optimized for the smaller sizes of text used in book settings.
Michelangelo is an all-caps titling face, lighter and more graceful than the original Palatino's alphabet.
Phidias Greek is an all-cap Greek alphabet that corresponds with Michelangelo.
Sistina is a second all-caps titling face, much more heavy and sturdy than Michelangelo. More like the caps in Palatino Bold.
During the 1960s, the members of the Palatino family were all adapted for Photo-typesetting machines. The world-wide popularity of Palatino's design led to fragrant piracy; many foundries made their own Palatinos, most of which were drawn without the permission of Hermann Zapf, Stempel, or Linotype.
During the 1980s, a family of PostScript Type 1 fonts for Palatino were produced. These were distributed by Linotype, Adobe, and their partners, and were included with many PostScript printers. Thus Palatino probably reached the height of its distribution.
In 1999, Zapf revised Palatino for Linotype and Microsoft, creating Palatino Linotype. The four OpenType fonts in the Palatino Linotype family each include 1325 glyphs, supporting the following code pages:
1252 Latin 1
1250 Latin 2 Eastern
1253 Greek with polytonic Greek
1257 Windows Baltic
1258 Windows Vietnamese
The fonts also include many different sets of figures, ligatures, and historical ligatures.
Palatino Linotype was a grand foray into the possibilities of OpenType, but it did not include the entire scope and possibilities of the original metal Palatino family. Around 2003, Hermann Zapf began working with Akira Kobayashi, artistic director at Linotype, on Palatino nova. This OpenType family would go on to include the following elements:
Palatino nova Light
Palatino nova Light Italic
Palatino nova Roman
Palatino nova Italic
Palatino nova Medium
Palatino nova Medium Italic
Palatino nova Bold
Palatino nova Bold Italic
Palatino nova Titling (i.e., Michelangelo and Phidias Greek)
Palatino nova Imperial (i.e., Sistina)
Aldus nova Book
Aldus nova Book Italic
Aldus nova Bold
Aldus nova Bold Italic
All fonts (except the two titling variants) contain complete Western and CE character sets. Palatino nova Roman, Palatino nova Italic, Palatino nova Bold, and Palatino nova Bold Italic also contain Greek and Cyrillic character sets.