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FONTS: FROM THE BOOK DESIGNER: Hermann Zapf, A Legendary Type Designer

FONTS: In A Nut Shell! 

If you like to use different fonts, you might like this article, too. I'm always looking at fonts, especially when I'm working on one of my children's books. So this article by   from The Book Designer, stood out foR me. 

Hermann Zapf, A Legendary Type Designer

Maybe you’ve never heard of Hermann Zapf, the legendary type designer and calligrapher who passed away this summer after a long and fruitful career. But that doesn’t mean you haven’t come in contact with his work.
Zapf was more famous than many other type designers, whose work is usually known only to graphic artists of various kinds. But Zapf was unique both in the designs he produced and in the longevity of his career.
When I was learning typography and design, Zapf’s typefaces were some of the best known and most used in the world, and because of that they influenced me quite profoundly.

Optima, Graceful and Elegant Modernism

For instance, the very first long document I ever designed, a literary magazine while I was in college, was set in one of Zapf’s most famous typefaces, Optima, originally issued in 1958.
Hermann Zapf
Although Optima was not the most famous or the most widely used of Zapf’s typefaces, I think it has a claim to be the one that will last the longest.
It’s an amazing achievement. Zapf was trying to create a design with elements of both sans serif and serif faces. He wanted to create an almost universal design that could be used just as easily for running text as for headlines and other display purposes.
From roman fonts that show the traces of the calligrapher’s pen, Zapf borrowed the gradually thickening and thinning strokes that give letterforms grace and elegance.
But Optima is a sans serif typeface, modern and spare in design. When used correctly, it can be forceful, quiet, even monumental.
Although I stopped using Optima some time ago, it still plays an important part in printed and other typographic displays. The photo at the top of this post is from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Architect Maya Lin used Optima to carve the names of the soldiers who died in that war on the massive wall that forms the bulk of the monument, and she couldn’t have made a better choice.

Palatino, Humanistic Old Style for a New World

“Named after 16th century Italian master of calligraphy Giambattista Palatino, Palatino is based on the humanist fonts of the Italian Renaissance, which mirror the letters formed by a broad nib pen; this gives a calligraphic grace. But where the Renaissance faces tend to use smaller letters with longer vertical lines with lighter strokes, Palatino has larger proportions, and is considered to be a much easier to read typeface.”—Wikipedia
Hermann Zapf
Probably the font that Zapf is best known for is Palatino, and that’s part of what killed this font for many designers.
Why? Because it was included in the original 35 Postscript system fonts that formed the basis of the desktop publishing revolution. It was the only oldstyle face and it seemed that every single person who wanted to produce an invitation, a newsletter, an advertisement, an annual report, or anything else believed that Palatino would give their product a touch of “class.”
Of course, with all these amateur designers hacking away at the early and still somewhat primitive tools we had, it soon seemed that we were living in a sea of atrocious looking designs created with Palatino.
I don’t think that’s true any longer.
One of the interesting things about Hermann Zapf’s career is that he started when books were typeset with hot metal type and printed letterpress.
When the industry moved on to “cold type” and photolithography after World War II, Zapf adapted and became the leading type designer of his day.
And he kept right on working when graphic arts entered the digital era, and was still producing variants of Palatino as late as 2006, almost 60 years after its introduction.

For more on Typefaces from Hermann Zapf go to:

Read the whole article at:

From SCBWI Newsletter: SCBWI Tackles Book Launches for its Members

New from Society Of Children's Book Authors And Illustrators.

SCBWI has decided to help authors get more exposure by helping them with marketing. I think this is a positive step for members and one I have been waiting for. SCBWI said they with be marketing for it's members driving traffic to the site.

In December they will start throwing Book Launch Parties. The first one on December 1st. In 2016, there will be three, one  in the Spring,  Fall And Holiday. Authors can purchase a page for $25 and add your own content.

SCBWI adds: 

"I hope that if you’ve had a book published in 2015, you will create a Book Launch Party page. (LOG IN to and click MY BOOK LAUNCH PARTY on your profile page.)  If you have a book coming out in the spring, sign up for the Spring Book Launch Party as soon as it’s available.
If you don’t have a book coming out, then come and visit the parties.  Don’t worry, we’ll send you an invitation soon.  Look for it!  And come visit again and again.  Buy books.  Support your community!  Remember, we need to be the rising tide that floats ALL our books.   All books matter." 
Children's authors and illustrator have NEW hope and help for book sells!

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