French Old Style: ITC Galliard
As mentioned, Granjon was another of the new breed of professional punchcutters who developed type foundries in Paris in the early sixteenth century. I find Matthew Carter’s interpretation to be the best of the Garalde styles, but Hoefler makes it another classification (probably just to give himself an excuse to show this exquisite design in addition to the required Garamond).
French Oldstyle characteristics
- Serifs becomes much stronger: more like supports than finishing strokes to a stem
- Larger x-height
Carter, who was involved in the cataloguing of Christopher Plantin’s office in the 1950s, understands these differences very well. Plantin was basically the first type foundry conglomerate selling reproductions of various punchcutters’ designs. Plantin was especially fond of Granjon’s design and included more than 60 of Granjon’s designs. In fact, his collection has made much of our current historical font knowledge possible.
Matthew calls Garamond’s design “stately, calm, & dignified” in contrast to Granjon’s “spirited, tense, & vigorous” stylings. Galliard certainly fit well (and had a causal effect) to the styles of the 1980s with the large x-heights and crisp, clean, rounded shapes. His shapes were a revelation to me personally and a major part of my style in the early eighties. Some people even see Granjon’s influence in that modern megalith: Times Roman.
- Geralde: Garamond, the classic serif font (bergsland.org)
- Font classifications: the lowest common denominators (bergsland.org)