Which Garamond? Typophiles Recommend:

Jon Whipple's picture

Well, they don't really. The mention of Garamond is frequent (to put it mildly) but there isn't a lot of actual endorsement.

Three threads contained actual endorsements of particular Garamonds:
20 Typefaces to start a designer's career
If you could only use 5 typefaces
and the even more stringent
Only One Typeface

The results:

Stempel Garamond - 3 endorsements
Adobe Gramond - 3 endorsements, 1 mention
Garamond - 2
Garamond Pro OTF - 1

And that includes a single person endorsing both Adobe and Stempel.

Now this is an afternoon of combing threads (about 20 or so out of 148 of them), so it looks like I'm at the point of diminishing return.

I'd like to ask some specific questions and see if we can't get a better measure.

Which Garamond
a. Would you buy for your own type library?
b. Would you set a book or long text in?
c. Would you set at display size?

Be specific. Let 'er rip. I'll tally the results in a few days.

Jon

John Hudson's picture

a. Sabon Next.
b. Sabon Next.
c. Sabon Next.

An alternate choice for the display size would be 1530 Garamond, but it isn't for sale at the moment.

Apparently Adobe may yet release Robert Slimbach's magnum opus Garamond revival, which has been in the works for more than ten years.

For me, one of the principal criterion in selecting a Garamond would be the italic. I'd want an italic based on Garamond's not Granjon's. That said, I'm currently reading a book set in Linotype Granjon, and rather like it.

Thomas Phinney's picture

I was surprised that nobody had mentioned Sabon, Monotype Garamond or Berthold Garamond.

I'm not surprised that Stempel Garamond rated highly, but I have to say that I'm not overly fond of it. I think it is just too "chiseled" for my taste as to what I want as a book face. There are even more chiseled looking faces that I like plenty, but not for book text.

I would also note that as a typeface design, Adobe Garamond Pro (OpenType) is essentially the same design as Adobe Garamond.

Normally I can't comment on unannounced projects, but Rob's Garamond revival is one that we have actually previewed in public. I will say that it is his top priority major project. I can't comment on a timeline, but it's getting plenty of attention and I don't expect it to end up on the back burner again.

a) Since I always have all Adobe typefaces, the one I'd go out and buy would be Sabon Next.

b & c) Can't answer at this time. Would have to do a more careful evaluation of Sabon Next, and will soon be competing with our new project.

Cheers,

T

abarwick's picture

I don't think Sabon Next is a better choice than AGaramond. It's very contrasty and hard on the eyes. The Display version is just a bit too light at 11 point, but the Regular is way too dark. AGaramond seems just right, at least on my particular laser printer, but you have to use it at one-half point larger size to match Sabon Next.

Jon Whipple's picture

Oh I should say that in my brief survey, I limited myself to mentions of types named Garamond, not all Garamond/esque(?) types.

I think that it's hugely useful to list Sabon Next, and I'm sure others might qualify as Garamonds. For the purposes of the survey, if you do include typfaces that aren't named Garamond, please be specific.

Any endorsements of metal Garamonds?

Jon

kakaze's picture

The US versions of the Harry Potter books (don't say anything) are set in Adobe Garamond. It is quite easy on the eyes.

Thomas Phinney's picture

I think you have to do it based on the design at least as much as the name. Sabon qualifies more than many typefaces that are merely named Garamond. For example, ITC Garamond's relationship to the original seems barely more than nominal.

T

Jon Whipple's picture

Thomas, I think you are right.

Jon

John Hudson's picture

I don't think Sabon Next is a better choice than AGaramond. It's very contrasty and hard on the eyes. The Display version is just a bit too light at 11 point, but the Regular is way too dark.

Well, you shouldn't be using the display version at 11pt anyway, but if the regular seems too dark this may simply be the way your printer handles it. In print, i.e. offset printed at 2400 or 3600 dpi, the regular is not too dark at all; in fact it can be a little light. I still think it is the best Garamond revival. Of course, I have a soft spot for 1530 Garamond, but it is probably too authentic for daily use.

gerald_giampa's picture

Goudy "Garamont" soon to be available at Lanston. Many reasons to look at it. The face is ready for release now.

Some think it has too much Goudy in it. I can't quite imagine "too much Goudy". Never had enough of it. But still I have a purist heart. I would need to look at the face historically speaking to give an opinion.

Anyone interested in "Garamont" could ask?

Dan Weaver's picture

Chris, Harry Potter? hee hee hee, You are kidding us aren't you, hee hee hee

jfp's picture

I found strange to decide that a particularly weight of a particularly typeface is too light or too dark after tests on a particular laser printer.

For example: to my experience, Apple laser printers give very bold type when HP laser printer give the reverse.

And, specially, when the final output is offset litho, on a particular paper, what you've got on a laser printer is irrelevant at all.

If I comeback to Garamond question, I can say that Adobe Garamond was my prefered Garamond until I discovered that the general effect is too wide and too Italian compared to original French Garamonds (from the various original books I had in hands from Estienne and others at the Imprimerie Nationale). Then, Stempel one, despite its angular shapes and Berthold Garamond despite not very available today as before, seems booth better.

(don't miss Augereau designed couple of years ago, another good one -- but a bit decorative on some forms).

I can't comment on Sabon Next for obvious reasons.

John Hudson's picture

I suggest you get a copy of Frank [sic, should be Fred] Smeijers' "Counterpunch"...

Or Robin Kinross's Unjustified Texts which is set in Fred's more recent Arnhem typeface. Of course, these are intended to be dark types, which may not be the case with things that look dark coming off Albert's laser printer.

gerald_giampa's picture

I think I am going to leave the overinking problem to the experts.



jfp's picture

"Albert's laser printer."??? explain please!

hrant's picture

I would recommed the only digital Garamond that has decent optical scaling: the ones by Valdonega. They have both a Jannon and a Garamond with 4 optical sizes just for text setting. But for better or worse they're not for sale.

But we really need to look at the metal ATF Garamond: every single size was optically scaled.

hhp

John Hudson's picture

"Albert's laser printer."??? explain please!

Albert was complaining that Sabon Next was too dark, but we speculated that this was due to his laser printer. Stephen suggested that dark type can be a good thing, as demonstrated by Fred Smeijer's types, but I think there is a difference between type that is intended to be dark and type that just ends up that way because of a printer.

jfp's picture

Albert Barwick! yes got it! thanks.

"complaining"
I complain myself that Sabon Next Regular is printed too light on the Linotype specimen. But some friends have say to me that german printers like pale printing (?! the black ink is a bit grey) So, I wait for the second edition due in next couple of days-weeks to see.

The Prix Charles Peignot book (composed in Sabon Next too), is better inked to my eyes.

What can be wonderful, is too see a book composed with various Garamonds available on the market, each used at their best size. From the "1530" to the Berthold, Stempel, A Garamond, Sabon Next, etc. The result will be appealing to the eyes as old books can be.

What about a Founders Garamond? (in reference to Founders Caslon)

ali's picture

Does anyone have an opinion on Jannon Text Moderne from Storm? I see that it's available as an OpenType version, but without the swash characters. Would you seriously consider using it instead of Adobe Garamond or Sabon Next, or is it too authentic (quirky) for an all-purpose general text font?

jay's picture

"Albert's laser printer."??? explain please!

It's a thought experiment, kind of like Schroedinger's Cat. It asks the question: "if you print in black toner on black paper, are the fonts still pirated?"

timd's picture

I don't have a solution, however, Royal Mail used Stempel Garamond, a very poor choice, since the 0 (zero) has the stresses on the horizontal and looks out of place.

hrant's picture

> the 0 (zero) has the stresses on the horizontal and looks out of place.

Huh, I think that's the best form of zero, since it avoids confusion, but does so elegantly.
How could it look out of place when some of the other numerals have horizontal stress too?

hhp

jfp's picture

Original Sabon Stempel by Tschichold, so Sabon Next too but in less contrast and just for OsF.

About Sabon Next, now that Linotype launched a new website, the Sabon Next as any other from the Platinuim collection are available to purchase by weight also.

jfp's picture

Narrower 0 than O is not a "convention" to me its just because figures are designed at 90% tabular (all designed on same width).

hrant's picture

> it leaps out from the page or back of a van

You mean just the zero? Do you think laymen have the same problem?

> narrower width for 0 than O

I don't think that's enough, like when you have caps and numbers intermixed (like in a FedEx tracking number). A slashed (or dotted) zero is the least confusible, but it's a bit brutal.

BTW, when I said "elegant" I didn't mean aesthetically, I meant functionally.

hhp

Jon Whipple's picture

And finally I got around to the tally.

Adding up the conversation after the initial report the results are thus:

Stempel Garamond - 4 endorsements
Adobe Gramond - 3 endorsements, 1 mention
Garamond - 2
Garamond Pro OTF - 1

and additionally:

Sabon Next - 2 endorsements (one specifically for text, display and addition to personal library)
Berthold Garamond - 1 endorsement

So the standings remain pretty much the same but the really great thing is the mention of many others that we may consider in selecting a Garamond:

1530 (Tiro Typeworks)
ATF Garamond (metal)
Augerneau
Founders Garamond
Jannon Text Moderne (Storm)
Monotype Garamond
Sabon
Valdonega Jannon (Not for sale)
Valdonega Garamond (Not for sale)

Thanks everybody!

gerald_giampa's picture

John,

Don't forget Garamont by Goudy, Lanston.

I had another look. It's damned good.

Don't suffer from same town syndrome. I have not lived in BC for 10 years. If you want I can give you a showing pretty quickly. Did you notice we just released Jim Rimmer's Fellowhsip?

I say this knowing you might have met him, so this is just small talk, not advertising. I hate people that advertise in forums. It's just plain crass.

http://www.lanstontype.com/Fellowship-Font.html

Gerald Giampa
Lanston Type Company

ali's picture

So when's this great new Adobe Garamond revival due out, and how will it differ from the current version? Will it be more historically authentic, or geared more toward modern use?

Thomas Phinney's picture

Let's see:

- I can't say when it will be out.
- It will be completely different from the existing Adobe Garamond, with the two exceptions of being designed by Robert Slimbach and being based on the work of Claude Garamond.
- It will be more historically-based than Adobe Garamond is.

jfp's picture

"It will be more historically-based than Adobe Garamond is."
Who can assume something like that today? hein? I will only trust Augereau, Le B

Thomas Phinney's picture

Just so. I think the new design will co-exist quite happily in our library with Adobe Garamond; each will serve its own purpose.

T

Jon Whipple's picture

Gerald: Sorry for that oversight. I had it written down on my notes, but got diverted by speling misteaks. Thanks for reiterating it. ...and also Garamont by Goudy, Lanston

No, I don't know Jim, but wouldn't mind an introduction or some time to meet. Get me both of those.

Oh, and Thomas get me some of the new stuff too! Looking forward to seeing it.

ali's picture

Thomas: It sounds like you're saying this new Garamond revival is more of a display font if it'll "co-exist" with the current version. I was hoping for a more beefed up and expanded text family, along the lines of JFP's Sabon Next. Do you have any advanced pictures you could share with us?

Thomas Phinney's picture

No, the new Garamond will have a full range of optical sizes, and in many other ways be more complete and extensive than the existing Adobe Garamond Pro.

I would love to share more with you all, but I really can't get into more specifics at this time. Maybe at TypeCon or ATypI we can do some big unveiling....

Cheers,

T

hrant's picture

What will you call it though? Maybe "Eug": Encore Un Garamond. :-)
Just teasing, I am curious how you'll solve the naming dilemma.

hhp

Stephen Coles's picture

"I don't think Sabon Next is a better choice than AGaramond. It's very contrasty and hard on the eyes. The Display version is just a bit too light at 11 point, but the Regular is way too dark"

Albert, if you think that's too dark I suggest you get a copy
of Frank Smeijers' "Counterpunch" set in Renard and discover
what a joy it is to read text with a darker color.

Stephen Coles's picture

I'm ashamed of my Frank/Fred blunder. Thanks John.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Thomas!! You are such a typographic tease!! ;^)

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