Academic journal article Printing History

Lane, John A., and Robert Slimbach. Garamond Premier Pro: A Contemporary Adaptation

Academic journal article Printing History

Lane, John A., and Robert Slimbach. Garamond Premier Pro: A Contemporary Adaptation

Article excerpt

LANE, JOHN A., and ROBERT SLIMBACH. Garamond Premier Pro: A Contemporary Adaptation. Palo Alto, Calif.: Adobe Systems Inc., 2005. 26 pp. (plus nine leaves of specimens). For private distribution.

In Nos. 26-27 of Printing History (1991-92), Mark Argetsinger and Jerry Kelly offered sustained analyses of Adobe's then-new Garamond, designed by Robert Slimbach. Argetsinger found serious deficiencies in this digital revival: a lack of fidelity to the original types of Garamond and Granjon, a failure to compensate for the lack of ink-spread in offset printing, and a single set of digital matrices compelled to represent the font in every size. Slimbach himself admits that what he produced then reflected commercial pressures and the limitations of type technology in the late 1980s. Now, more than a decade later, Adobe is offering us Slimbach's second thoughts, presumably the font family that he would have liked to create in the first place, and it is a remarkable achievement.

As an OpenType, Garamond Premier Pro does the usual pleasant little tricks in handling ligatures, alternative forms of characters, and old-style figures very smoothly, but it also moves well beyond ordinary expectations in its range and complexity. This Garamond comes in four optically scaled sizes, though with the addition of multiple weights in each size, there are actually nine choices (not counting the bolds) available to the designer who is worried about achieving even color on the page. …

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