Garamont: My first letter drawings

<em>Garamont</em>: My first letter drawings
Date : 2. October 2018

Last month you could read about my first love Garamond(t) and since then I wanted this little story to have another sequel. Well, here it is. From the basement of my parents I got some of my very first type design drawings ever: my pencil drawn reinterpretation of Imprimerie Nationale’s wonderful Garamont character* (which in truth go back to drawings of Jean Jannon).

First of all I like to thank again Christian Paput who in this long past time was so kind to send me their beautiful hot metal printed type specimen from the 1960’s on which I began to work in the last of my university years. And yes, it took me quite a while just to finish the major part of the lowercase alphabet. Whenever I might have underrated the time a work should be supposed to take me, well, this was the record! From a friend of mine I borrowed an old photographic enlarger to zoom the letters from this printed specimen and my idea was to simply trace the so recovered lines with a pencil, fill them with black in a second step and mount them for the first specimen sheets. The two weeks I wished to take me for that task turned out to be a half year and I couldn’t imagine that even then not more than 2 dozens of letters would have been finished.

I underrated completely what those new lines would need to have to be called in reality outlines of a real typeface!

For I was a complete beginner I underrated completely what those new lines would need to have to be called in reality outlines of a real typeface! Fortunately, I had already some taste to judge my first attempts, so I was able to state that they were of no value, at all. So I rubbed out and redraw, rubbed out and redraw etc. Until after some 2 months or so I got nothing but my first idea of a serious letter. (I don’t remember which one.) I spoke to professors of my faculty but, to be honest, there weren’t much of a great help to discover the secrets of a true Roman printing type.

But the story came to a happy ending. Though, it was not even close to what I proposed myself to achieve (having a character to work with) it ignited my passion to design typefaces, forever.

Read also [German and Italian language]



*If you want to get to know more about the particular story of the Garamont typefaces by the Imprimerie Nationale, punch cutting and drawing of typefaces you find some great information and lots of fantastic specimen on www.culture.gouv.fr.