Advice and help on Garamond

dan mellor's picture

Apologies if this has been asked before, but I've searched and not been able to come up with any conclusive answers. I'm in my last year of my Graphic Design course at Staffordshire University. I've been studying the originality of Garamond to produce a set of designs which highlight how Garamonds originality has been lost throughout it's many versions.

Basically without me going into great depth and detail. I was wondering if anybody knew which are the most prominent versions of Garamond and the characteristics which define them from the original 16th century cut, for example x-height. I'm going to end my design with ITC Garamond as I believe this is the furthest deviation from the original.

The other problem I'm having is obtaining the original version of Garamond. I've studied the Egenolff-Berner foundry specimen of Garamond from 1592. But ideally I would need a digitised version of the original. Does such a thing exist? Has anybody made an accurate digital version of the original?

I'm sorry to ask so many questions, any help would be greatly appreciated.

charles ellertson's picture

The other problem I’m having is obtaining the original version of Garamond. I’ve studied the Egenolff-Berner foundry specimen of Garamond from 1592. But ideally I would need a digitised version of the original. Does such a thing exist? Has anybody made an accurate digital version of the original?

I can't help you with most of your questions, what I know is the common stuff of Granjon, Jannon, etc. But that last question is an interesting one -- what is the original? Is it the punches? The specimen? You've probably read Smeijers Counerpunch. Did whoever made the punches test them by lightly inking them & pressing them into paper? What was he looking at as he adjusted the punches -- or did he bother?

Ink & paper & printing were different then, too, so whatever was looked at was based on that technology. If you are just after a pure mechanical size, I suppose the punches themselves would give the dimensions of "the type." There would always be small variations in the printed type. But those dimensions aren't particularly interesting, either, nor would they show variations with current digital Garamonds, where (we hope) the digital punchcutter also look at the results of a printed specimen -- & then decide whether to go with a version that worked best with (1) a laser printer, or (2) high resolution offset, the latter coming form either (1) repro-negative-plate, or (2) direct-to-plate.

You get different answers depending on how you first answer these questions.

dedaluz's picture

Maybe this article can help: Garamond vs. Garamond

Dan Gayle's picture

Do a Google search of Typophile.com, because I know for sure that there are threads discussing this very subject. Particularly about ITC Garamond and/or the digitization of early printed specimens.

Eluard's picture

There is a Garamond that is called 1592 Garamond and seems to be a direct tracing of the forms of the original. If you Google it you might be able to find a source for it.

Number3Pencils's picture

Google returns zero results for "1592 Garamond".

beejay's picture

always try diff. google strategies

try 1592 + garamond, or "1592" "garamond"

http://preview.tinyurl.com/2bzg8k

that leads you a few places, including this thread:

http://www.typophile.com/node/38757

which leads to Raph's comments and some Berner scans here:

http://levien.com/type/berner/

beejay's picture

also, using Typophile's search function for "1592" leads to this thread:

http://typophile.com/node/5901

good luck

dan mellor's picture

Thanks for the response's. From the links provided I have been able to identify some of the more prominent Garamonds and their characteristics.

However I'm most interested in 1592 Garamond, if it as you say a direct tracing from the forms of the "original", or the Berner. I have tried searching for this version but I'm unable to find any reference to it, or any foundry that I can purchase from. Without being to much of a pain could somebody point me in the right direction?

Dan Gayle's picture

What is a "direct tracing"? Because that can mean about a billion things, none of them necessarily making it more accurate than another. In fact, without the original drawings or matrices, any "Garamond" is going to be subject to the type designer's whims and interpretations of the printed type specimens.

That being said, Slimbach's Garamond Premier Pro is considered to be the *most accurate* rendition by most Typophilers, and will probably be as close to "original" as anyone can get short of resurrecting Garamond himself.

philippe_g's picture

The mysterious "1592 Garamond" font might be Ross Mills' 1530 Garamond font. It is described as "strictly based on the printed appearance of the original metal types".

Dan Gayle's picture

From Myfonts.com
It is alone among the many, so-called Garamond 'revivals' in being strictly based on the printed appearance of the original metal types.

What a bunch of hogwash. All of them are based on the bla bla of the original bla bla bla printed appearance. If it is so accurate, why does it look so anemic? "The printed appearance" of letterpressed Garamond looks totally different than the 1530 Garamond.

Perhaps it's a digitization of Garamond's largest size?

philippe_g's picture

There doesn't seem to be much information available online about this font, but in his "Fonts & Encodings" book, Haralambous does say that it is based on the « gros canon » (= 48 points). He also says that there are some elements pointing at the font being designed by Augereau instead of Garamond.

Dan Gayle's picture

There we go. An "authentic" display version of Garamond. Not that anyone might ever be confused and use it for body copy...

Eluard's picture

The mysterious “1592 Garamond” font might be Ross Mills’ 1530 Garamond font. It is described as “strictly based on the printed appearance of the original metal types”.

I'm very sorry — this was my mistake. Yes, I meant Ross Mill's 1530 Garamond. (I'll go bang my head against the wall by way of apology.)

If you look at p. 74 of Bringhurst you can see what Ross Mills has taken his digitalization from — and his letterforms are very accurate renditions of these shapes. I do agree with DanGayle that despite this the 1530 Garamond of Mills does not look, on the page, that much like a page of Garamond. The forms are too anaemic.

rs_donsata's picture

On the resources section you will find a Flash presentation called Type Styles 101 by Johnatan Hoefler. On the last chapter (on reviving fonts or something like that) you will find a list of garamond revivals.

Héctor

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