Thank you, Hermann Zapf

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Yesterday, we lost Hermann Zapf. Brilliant type designer, a very special person. Hermann was 96.

He lived in Darmstadt, Germany and had been an Honorary member of the board of the TeX Users Group since 1980, with the deserved title of “Wizard of Fonts”.

Hermann Zapf directly contributed to the TeX world with the Euler fonts and with several discussions with Donald Knuth about the design of the Computer Modern fonts. His legacy to the world of typography and type design is too big to be reduced to a list of his contributions: just the mention of Palatino, Optima and Zapfino, three fonts he designed, can illustrate his craftsmanship in type design.

Hermann was also a precursor of micro-typography in computer aided typesetting, with his HZ system on which the micro-typographic features of pdfTeX, XeTeX and LuaTeX are based.

Thank you for everything, Hermann.

Hermann Zapf at EuroTeX 2005 in Pont-a-Mousson, France (by Adam Twardoch).

4 thoughts

  1. A sad day indeed. He was also honorary member of DANTE.

    I will always remember when at the EuroTeX 2005 at the Q&A Hans Hagen showed him large visual diffs of individual characters of Optima and Optima Nova and asked him why he had changed the characters in that way. Apparently nobody had done that before. :-{

  2. Indeed sad, he was one of the first type designers I heard about when I became interested in typography years ago.

    And thank for the anecdote, Martin.

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