Mostly found in books or historical documents, Garamond has stood the test of time in terms of usability. But what makes this classic typeface such a favorite, both by designers and publishers?
Garamond isn’t a single typeface. Rather, it’s a group of serifs that were originally designed by 16th century engraver Claude Garamond. This type of lettering is what is called as ‘old-style’ because it replicates handwriting done with a pen, albeit with a more structured, upright appearance. This displaced the ornate blackletter or Gothic types, which used to appear on most Renaissance printing.
Claude’s designs were roman type based off of the fonts cut by engraver Francesco Griffo for Venetian printer Aldus Manutius. Garamond later created a separate italics version, but that didn’t become as popular. When Garamond died, his widow sold his equipment and tools to type foundries, like the Le Bé type in Paris.
This would later help in reviving the classic fonts to something that would grace the digital screens of the future.
There’s a reason why a classic never goes out of style. The same can be said for Garamond. For one, it looks great with any font, whether it’s Futura or Proxima Nova. Experts have often described it as ‘elegant and executed with consummate skill’, adding it’s ‘a culmination of Renaissance design’.
This leads us to point two, which are versatility and readability. Whether you’re creating something for the Web or for print, you can count on Garamond to help you get your message across with its crisp, clear letters.
Thanks to period books and printing specimens, designers were able to replicate Garamond and even make variations of their own. You should find this lettering available in most apps, like Microsoft Word or Adobe.
For more options, check out the beautiful Egenolff-Berner Garamond variation from Google Fonts or the classic Garamond at WFonts free of charge. For a slightly condensed version, see Apple Garamond from Dafont. Download each version or the entire font family to use in your personal or commercial projects.