Hermann Zapf, a Typographer

Topics: Typography, Typeface, Hermann Zapf Pages: 4 (1229 words) Published: December 7, 2006
It was back in 1935 when Zapf started on his course to teaching himself to become one of this centurys most significant type designers and calligraphers. Hermann Zapf was born around the end of World War I, famine had struck the country and his mother had just enough money to send him to school in 1925. While he was in school, Zapf perferred technical subjects. But even though he was so young, Zapf was already getting involved with type, exchanging secret alphabets with messages only his brother and him could read.

Once he graduated he wanted to pursue
a career in electrical engineering but he wasn't
able to attend the technical college he was planning on attending due to the new political form of government in office. So he went for an apprenticeship with some of his teachers, but they noticed the new political difficulties, and suggested that he because a lithographer due to his skill in drawing. He was continually rejected in interviews based on his politcal answers to the questions that were asked. But then the last company didn't ask any of these types of quetions so he was hired as a retoucher, since they werent in need of an apprentice lithographer.

Zapf was first interested in lettering after he attended an exhibition in honor of a typographer. Zapf boughta couple of books there, to teach himself calligraphy and he studied examples of calligraphy in the city library. Pretty soon, his expertise in calligraphy was getting recognized at work, and his retouching shifted to letter retouching. AFter the apprentinceship there, he worked at a company in typography and writing songbooks. Then in 1938, he designed a fraktur type called Gilgengart for them, which was his first printed typeface.

During the war, Zapf was too careless and clumsy to fight so he was sent to Jüterbog to train as a cartographer. In the cartography unit, Zapf drew maps of Spain. Zapf was happy to be in the cartography unit because his eyesight was excellent. He didn't...
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