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Manuale Typographicum by Hermann Zapf

Contributed by Chris Purcell on Jun 6th, 2015. Artwork published in .
Manuale Typographicum by Hermann Zapf 1
© Hermann Zapf. License: All Rights Reserved.

Here are a few pages from the late Hermann Zapf’s 1954 masterpiece, the first Manuale Typographicum. My copy is the paperback edition by the MIT Press, printed in (West) Germany in 1970.

Let’s remember that these plates were originally printed from handset metal type! The compositors would have followed Hermann’s layouts, meticulously drawn with pencil and ballpoint pen.

The overlapping in the last two slides was done by overprinting successive plates.

Manuale Typographicum by Hermann Zapf 2
© 1954 and 1970 by Hermann Zapf. License: All Rights Reserved.
Manuale Typographicum by Hermann Zapf 3
License: All Rights Reserved.
Manuale Typographicum by Hermann Zapf 4
License: All Rights Reserved.
Manuale Typographicum by Hermann Zapf 5
License: All Rights Reserved.

4 Comments on “Manuale Typographicum by Hermann Zapf”

  1. Thank you for this beautiful contribution, Chris.

    Peter Gabor shares a full set of images from Zapf’s Manuale Typographicum – see also his video with images of the 1957 edition. It goes without saying that digital reproductions are a poor substitute for the real thing.

  2. The Monotype-Janson differs from the Linotype-Janson in a few details. I like them both, but can’t find any on the pages pictured above. Where should the MT Janson be? I’m probably blind today.

    It doesn’t matter, it’s already late, should have been asleep by now.

  3. I found the following interesting page about Monotype-Janson:…

  4. Hello Kurt, you weren’t blind: I can’t spot any Janson in the images either. Zapf’s Manuale Typographicum does include showings of a Janson, but they’re not depicted here, and hence Janson should not have been listed. Thank you for catching this!

    Furthermore, the Janson presented by Zapf isn’t the Monotype version, but – as one would expect – Stempel’s Original-Janson, which Zapf revised for the adoption for the Linotype. The foundry version was reissued in the 1950s. It’s based on original matrices from the seventeenth century, acquired from Drugulin in 1919. There are twelve sizes, with considerable design differences between them.

    Thank you also for the link to the blog post by UW-Milwaukee Special Collections. While it is primarily concerned with the Monotype version, it also includes an image with a glyph set of Stempel’s foundry version. The comparison with the glyph set of a different size reproduced in Manuale Typographicum reveals the mentioned differences.

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