Garamond is a group of many old-style serif typefaces, named for sixteenth-century Parisian engraver Claude Garamond (generally spelled as Garamont in his lifetime). Garamond-style typefaces are popular and often used, particularly for printing body text and books.
Garamond worked as an engraver of punches, the masters used to stamp matrices, the moulds used to cast metal type. His designs followed the model of an influential design cut for Venetian printer Aldus Manutius by his punchcutter Francesco Griffo in 1495, and helped to establish what is now called the old-style of serif letter design, letters with a relatively organic structure resembling handwriting with a pen, but with a slightly more structured and upright design.
Some distinctive characteristics in Garamond’s letterforms are an ‘e’ with a small eye and the bowl of the ‘a’ which has a sharp hook upwards at top left. Other general features are limited but clear stroke contrast and capital letters on the model of Roman square capitals. The ‘M’ is slightly splayed with outward-facing serifs at the top (sometimes only on the left) and the leg of the ‘R’ extends outwards from the letter. The x-height (height of lower-case letters) is low, especially at larger sizes, making the capitals large relative to the lower case, while the top serifs on the ascenders of letters like ‘d’ have a downward slope and ride above the cap height. The axis of letters like the ‘o’ is diagonal and the bottom right of the italic ‘h’ bends inwards
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