Garamond, Gyve, &c.


  • WHAT: G

  • WHEN: 1996

  • WHO: The Un-Gyve Limited Group

  • WHERE: Boston

GARAMOND: Claude Garamond (c. 1480, Paris - 1561, Paris) publisher, punchcutter, and type founder, typographer, apprenticed as a punchcutter with Simon de Colines in Paris, 1510, and later trained with Geoffroy Tory. Among the most influential type designers of his time, Garamond is credited with the introduction of the accent, apostrophe and cedilla into the French language. Garamond’s first type, based on Aldus Manutius’ type De Aetna, cut in 1455, debuts in a 1530 edition of Erasmus's Paraphrasis in Elegantiarum Libros Laurentii Vallae. By commission of King Francis I in 1540 Garamond gave Grec du Roi in three sizes to Parisian scholar and printer Robert Estienne for a book series; the Greek typefaces, informed by Geoffroy Tory's interest in humanist typography and majuscules (ancient Greek capital letterforms) and inspired by the handwriting of Angelo Vergecio, the King's Librarian at Fontainebleau, and the hand of Henri Estienne, the typographer's ten-year-old pupil. Garamond enters into publishing in 1545, initially working with Pierre Gaultier and later with Jean Barbe. His first publishing project is Pia et Religiosa Meditatio by David Chambellan. The books are set in Garamond typefaces. Upon his death, Christoph Plantin from Antwerp, the Le Bé type foundry and the Frankfurt foundry Egenolff-Bermer acquire a large proportion of Garamond’s original punches and matrices. The typefaces produced by Garamond between 1530 and 1545 are considered the typographical highlight of the 16th century; recognized for their elegance, readability, fluidity of form and consistency of character.

GARAMOND: Old-style serif typefaces designed after the work of 16th Century punchcutter Claude Garamond; recognized for their elegance, readability, fluidity of form and consistency of character. One of the four typefaces favored by Massimo Vignelli in The Vignelli Canon:

"The advent of the computer generated the phenomena called desktop publishing. This enabled anyone who could type the freedom of using any available typeface and do any kind of distortion. It was a disaster of mega proportions. A cultural pollution of incomparable dimension. As I said, at the time, if all people doing desktop publishing were doctors we would all be dead! Typefaces experienced an incredible explosion. The computer allowed anybody to design new typefaces and that became one of the biggest visual pollution of all times.

In order to draw attention to that issue I made an exhibition showing work that we had done over many years by using only four typefaces: Garamond, Bodoni, Century Expanded, and Helvetica. The aim of the exhibition was to show that a large variety of printed matter could be done with an economy of type with great results. In other words, is not the type but what you do with it that counts. The accent was on structure rather than type."

GOLDSMITH: Oliver Goldsmith, Room at Walker’s Hotel, Dean St. Soho. Views of the Haunts and Homes of the British Poets, Oct. 19 1850.

GRAVURE: A photographic image produced from etching a plate through an intaglio process and producing a print from it; the process of producing prints by this method.

GUM BICHROMATE: A photographic printing process also known as gum dichromate developed in the 19th century through the discovery of light sensitivity of dichromates by the Scottish inventor Mungo Ponton in 1839. Produced by the application of a gum arabic solution mixed with potassium bichromate and pigment to a textured sheet that is, once dried, exposed in contact with a negative and developed. Photographers manipulate the developing image with brush strokes, sponge or water applications for a painterly effect. The laborious but protean process emerged as art-photography when revived by the influence of the photographers Robert DeMachy and Alfred Maskell and later adopted by Edward Steichen and Gertrude Käsebier among others. 

GYVE: Middle English; origin unknown; sounds like jive; means to shackle or fetter; ungyve \un-jive\ v:[Middle English] to unshackle, to unfetter, to unchain: Un-Gyve

N.B. The alphabet swatch colour is Grenadine from the Un-Gyve Palette.