Honorary Unsubscribe

Randy Cassingham’s Honorary Unsubscribe Recognizes the Unknown, the Forgotten and the Often Obscure People who Had an Impact on Our Lives.
These are the people you will wish you had known.

Typographer

Hermann Zapf

A designer and calligrapher, Zapf was fascinated with typography — and the design of typefaces, now generally referred to as “fonts”. He designed his first one at age 20, Gilgengart, back when type was set by hand from pieces of lead. A German, he was conscripted, but due to poor health he was given an office job: drawing maps. (His fate was better than his father, who was sent to the Dachau concentration camp for union activities.) After the war, he applied for a job at a type foundry. He wasn’t asked about his politics, his education, or his certifications: he was hired solely for his ability, as demonstrated by his sketchbooks. He was particularly flexible: once type was started to be set by machine, he created typefaces for Linotype machines; he worked at Linotype for most of his life. When phototypesetting replaced lead, he created optical typefaces. And when computer-based printing came along, he created digital typefaces. He’s best known for his design of Palatino, which was one of the 35 core typefaces for the Postscript digital platform; Optima, which was chosen for spelling out all the names in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, D.C.; and the classic Zapf Dingbats, a collection of special symbols. Zapf died June 4, at 96.

Zapf typefaces

From This is True for 8 June 2015


Honorary Unsubscribe Books

HU BooksThe Early Writeups from This is True's popular Honorary Unsubscribe feature are now available for your Kindle (or Kindle software for your smartphone, tablet, or computer) as low-cost ebooks.

See details on Volume 1 (covering 1998 through 2000), Volume 2 (2001 through 2003), Volume 3 (2004 through 2006), and Volume 4 (2007 through 2009).

The honorees truly are the people you wish you had known.

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