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Zapfest in SF - Sept. & Oct., 2001


The Friends of Calligraphy
P.O. Box 425194
San Francisco California 94142


Calligraphic Type Design in the Digital Age: An Exhibition in Honor of the
Contributions of Hermann and Gudrun Zapf.
September and October, 2001
San Francisco Public Library, Skylight Gallery

Formal writing with the edged pen - all but dead a century ago - now
enlivens much of the text we read. It is assumed that the written word has
been supplanted by keystrokes, yet this resurgence and interest in
calligraphy and typefaces derived from the hand is flourishing. How did
this happen? In no small part it is a result of the efforts of two
designers: Hermann Zapf and Gudrun Zapf von Hesse. For more than half a
century, they have been creating typefaces while educating designers and
technologists about letterforms. This is clearly a cause for celebration.

Hermann Zapf and Gudrun Zapf von Hesse, world-renowned calligraphers and
type designers, embraced the changes in printing and foundry technology
over the second half of the last century. When film type was a nascent
technology, the Zapfs put much effort into understanding and designing for
this new technology. Soon after, as digital type developed, the Zapfs were
there to design type, solve technical problems with engineers, and provide
a standard of typographic excellence for the next generation of designers.

An original exhibition honoring these two very significant and influential
people is being held in San Francisco in the fall of 2001. The exhibition
will feature several of the typefaces designed by the Zapfs, their
calligraphic work that influenced the typeface development, and special
books and posters designed using their typefaces. A second part of the
exhibition will focus on 14 other calligrapher/type designers: Alan
Blackman, Erik van Blokland, Rick Cusick, Timothy Donaldson, Jean Evans,
Phill Grimshaw, Cynthia Hollandsworth, Akira Kobayashi, Richard Lipton,
Jacqueline Sakwa, Robert Slimbach, Viktor Solt, Jovica Veljovic and Julian

The audience will be drawn from the large and active community (both in the
Bay Area and internationally) of typographers, designers, calligraphers,
computer technologists, book collectors, and artists that have come to
appreciate the efforts of the Zapfs in promoting the graphic arts. The
Zapfs, who are energetic octogenarians, have agreed to attend the Opening
and give speeches. The Friends of Calligraphy will present them both with
"Lifetime Achievement Awards for Excellence in Calligraphy & Type Design."
The curators of the exhibition are Sumner Stone (noted American type
designer), Susie Taylor (curator of the Harrison Collection at the San
Francisco Public Library), and Linnea Lundquist (typographer/calligrapher
and former student of Hermann Zapf).

A series of lectures will run concurrently with the exhibition, featuring
some of the foremost historians, practitioners and educators in the
typographic and calligraphic professions. A catalog of the exhibition is
also being planned, and will include essays on the theme of calligraphic
type design.

Press packages with additional details and images will be forthcoming, but
should you wish to gather more information immediately, please contact
Nicholas Yeager at 707.431.0195 or artifex@pipeline.com

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