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PARKER TYPE HISTORY · December 13, 2010

Mike Parker’s Story of Type: Augereau, Garamont, Jannon, Granjon

We continue onward to early 16th century France. French type design was influenced by the Italian Renaissance (especially the work of Aldus Manutius) but eventually evolved to have its own distinct character. Augereau was among the early founders to start the trend, while Garamont’s roman types became the best known. Jannon’s types are most infamous for being mistaken for Garamont’s in the 19th century. And Granjon elevated the French oldstyle forms to new levels of vitality.

From Font Bureau’s library there is Throhand, FB Garamond, and Meno, all designed taking reference from these type masters.

II. Old Style Roman and Italic Typefaces (continued)

Antoine Augereau (French, ca. 1500–1534)

Garamont was apprenticed to Augereau, who was among the first punchcutters to introduce the roman letter to France, apparently in the form that we have come to know as “Garamond.” The 16th-century Le Be Inventory notes that Augereau was, with Simon de Colines, one of the first who cut punches for the roman letter and adds that he was “master of apprenticeship to Garamond.” None of Augereau’s types survive. He was hanged and burned in the Place Maubert on Christmas eve, 1534, for printing what was considered religious offense at the time.

Scanned sample from the Fleuron, No. V; Augereau’s printing of A. Navagero’s Orationes duae, 1532.

Claude Garamont (French, 1500–1561)

By 1532, Aldus’ Venetian designs had been adopted as the point of departure in Paris by the punchcutter, printer, and publisher Claude Garamont. In his own publications he spelled his name “Garamont.” We have followed this spelling for his name, reserving “Garamond” for his typefaces. Deberny & Peignot Garamond, Linotype Granjon, Stempel Garamond, Berthold Garamond, Adobe Garamond, FB Garamond, and Sabon are all based on Garamont’s own work. The majority of faces called “Garamond” are based in fact on the later work of Jean Jannon (Sedan, 1580–1658) whose mannered work falls well short of that of Garamont.

Sample from the most comprehensive specimen of Garamont’s types from the Egenolff-Berner foundry, printed in 1592. Source: Wikipedia

Jean Jannon (French, 1580–1658)

Most types bearing the name Garamont or Garamond are based on a series of late-17th-century matrices which survive at the Imprimerie Nationale in Paris. Cut by Jean Jannon at Sedan, they were wrongly identified late in the 19th century as the work of Garamont. On the principle that “what I tell you three times is true,” they were much copied at the turn of the 20th century as “Garamond.” Beatrice Warde of The Monotype Corporation correctly identified them in an article in the 1925 issue of the Fleuron (No. V). Except for the faces listed above as the work of Garamont, the “Garamonds” are copies of the less successful 17th-century work of Jannon, a century after the work of Garamont.

Scanned sample from the Fleuron, No. V; Jannon’s specimen of the Gros Canon (about 44-point) roman, 1621, printed at Sedan.

Robert Granjon (French, ca. 1513–1589)

Granjon lived to the ripe old age of seventy-six. He spent most of his life as an itinerant punchcutter, circling Europe from one important publisher to the next. In 1549 he lived in Paris but visited Lyons every year. In 1550–51 he had a partnership with Michael Fezendat, then moved to Lyons, with trips to Antwerp to produce fonts for Christopher Plantin, which are found today in the Plantin Moretus Museum. He was extremely prolific; forty of his faces survive at the museum today. He ended his career in Rome, producing non-romans for the Vatican. The Monotype Corporation identify his designs as forming the basis for Plantin and Times New Roman, but this is wholly untrue. Robert Granjon’s romans stand out for their vitality, a characteristic best demonstrated in Matthew Carter’s contemporary Galliard.

Sample of the Granjon Gros Cicero (about 12-point) a specimen by the typefounder Claude Lamesle, printed in Paris, 1742. St Bride Library, London. Used with permission from James Mosley.

This sample was Carter's primary inspiration for Galliard and bears the most resemblance to Richard Lipton’s Meno mentioned below.


David Berlow’s Throhand is in that same 16th-century French oldstyle mode. Here is what he had to say about his inspiration in designing Thohand.

Mike had been carrying around a catalog of the Plantin-Moretus types since the mid-1950s that he and others had assembled during Mike’s extensive research there. Each specimen had been ingeniously made by locking up the main letters in a block of type, getting the light to reflect off just the faces of the letters, and taking a photograph.

The beauty of one particular size caught my eye in this catalog, and that is what I tracked down. What I found were a pretty clear set of punches, but the type that had been made from them was old. So there was this range of looks that I tried to capture in the three close weights I drew.

The roman had no known italic match made, so mine was rather loosely derived from a box of italic punches that had been on display in the museum. I chose these as an interesting challenge to try and make a companion italic from the period that might be halfway to what we normally expect of a modern Garamond.


Jill Pichotta’s FB Garamond is Font Bureau’s only dedicated typeface specifically in the Garamond mode. Here’s what she had to say about it:

I digitized FB Garamond in the summer of 1992 for Condé Nast Traveler Magazine. It is a historic revival and expansion of the Ludlow Garamond drawn by Robert Hunter Middleton in 1929. It is the opinion of many to be one of the most authentic versions of the types by one of the first great type founders Claude Garamond as attributed to him in the Berner specimen of 1592. The beautiful italic is that of Granjon also printed in the Berner specimen. In keeping with the original specimen, and at the client’s request, the organic style and sparkle of the original was maintained. In 1998 the Indian Hill Press on Martha’s Vineyard provided an array of Ludlow proofs to aid in the families expansion. FB Garamond has appeared on the cover of many of America’s favorite magazines. It is remarkable that letterforms from a broadside 400 years old could typify contemporary elegance.


Richard Lipton designed this spirited oldstyle for Font Bureau in 1994, Meno. The romans gain their energy from French baroque forms cut late in the sixteenth century by Robert Granjon.

Here’s what Richard had to say:
In regards to Meno, I’d always been inspired by Matthew’s Galliard and there are many spiritual similarities between the two. My approach to Meno was to lean toward calligraphic touches that would lend some warmth and pen detail from the writing tool into the type family.


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