“Alphabet Magic: Hermann & Gudrun Zapf” @ The Grolier Club: through April 27


Alphabet Magic: Gudrun & Hermann Zapf and the World They Designed
February 20 through April 27, 2019
The Grolier Club, 47 East 60h Street, New York City

2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of both Hermann Zapf and Gudrun Zapf von Hesse. Hermann Zapf’s contribution to type design and calligraphy is immeasurable. His typographic work alone has greatly expanded the language of letterforms through ubiquitous fonts such as Palatino, Optima, and Zapfino (to name a few). Zapf’s typefaces have become among the most used – and most admired – of all time and he is arguably the most important type designer of the 20th century.

No less important, though perhaps less well known, is his work in typography and book design. Zapf has also been at the forefront of type technology. His Marconi alphabet design was the first typeface ever created specifically for digital typography.

Also noteworthy is Zapf’s calligraphic art. It first became widely disseminated in his writing manual Pen and Graver (1949), and has since been seen in numerous books and exhibitions, and has been a major influence on generations of calligraphers.

In 1951 Hermann Zapf married Gudrun von Hesse. She is a master in her own right and across several disciplines. In addition to a remarkable career in the fields of calligraphy and type design, she is recognized as one of the finest bookbinders of the 20th and 21st centuries.

This retrospective commemorates the 100th birthdays and influential work and careers of Hermann Zapf and Gudrun Zapf von Hesse.

The show draws mainly on two collections: The Melbert B. Cary Jr. Graphic Arts Collection at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where Dr. Steven K. Galbraith is curator, and the private collection of Jerry Kelly, a leading calligrapher, book designer, type designer and typographer, who has co-curated the show with Dr. Galbraith.

The Grolier Club Committee on Modern Fine Printing is pleased to announce the

Zapf Centennial Symposium
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.
The Grolier Club, 47 East 60h Street, New York City

Robert Bringhurst, OC, D.Litt., Canadian poet, typographer, and linguist
David Pankow, Curator Emeritus, Melbert B. Cary, Jr. Graphic Arts Collection, RIT
Ferdinand Ulrich, typographer, writer and educator, occasional type designer, PhD student at the University of Reading
Julian Waters, lettering designer, international teacher & lecturer

Co-sponsored by American Printing History Association-New York Chapter, Center for Book Arts, Society of Scribes, Type Directors Club, Typophiles, and the Cary Graphic Arts Collection, Rochester Institute of Technology

(Artwork by Hermann Zapf)