In 1939, just as he was beginning his career as a graphic artist, Hermann Zapf was conscripted into the German army. He started working on a series of sketchbooks, small enough to keep in his uniform pocket at all times, and continued them throughout the war years. Although a handful of the pages have been reproduced previously, only a very few people have ever seen the contents of these three clothbound volumes in their entirety. Now, with the cooperation of the artist himself, the Hermann Zapf Sketchbook Facsimile Project will make the complete work available for the first time.
Seventy-one compositions—each a small masterpiece—indicate the breadth of Hermann Zapf’s artistic abilities during this period. Watercolor paintings, pen and pencil sketches, and, above all, gems of calligraphic art, exhibit his wide capabilities and formidable skill. A treasure trove for lovers of the letter arts, the notebooks are key to understanding Zapf’s future achievements in calligraphy and typography.
INDICATIONS OF FUTURE WORK
PAINTINGS & ILLUSTRATIONS
THE FACSIMILE EDITION
The book will be produced in a facsimile edition, actual size, printed in full-color from scans made directly from the originals, utilizing fine-line screen offset lithography on archival paper.
160 pages, including 71 pages of full-color facsimiles
Artwork on right-hand pages only; with backs blank [but reproduced in full-color to approximate the original paper], some with brief captions, as in the sketchbooks
12 page introduction set in Palatino nova fonts
8¼ x 6” [actual size] printed on quality archival uncoated paper
Bound in one volume, sewn binding, covered in imported cloth
THE DELUXE FACSIMILE EDITION
Same as above, but hand-bound in three volumes [like the original three sketchbooks], sewn and covered in imported Holland cloth with ribbon ties, as the sketchbooks themselves, in a custom handmade slipcase. Signed by Jerry Kelly; limited to 50 copies.
The project is ready to proceed to press. All that remains is your help to fund the printing and binding costs.
ABOUT HERMANN ZAPF
In 1935, 16-year-old Hermann Zapf went to see a memorial exhibition of the work of a fellow Nuremberg son, the great calligrapher and type designer Rudolf Koch. Inspired by Koch’s work, Zapf began teaching himself calligraphy, mainly from Koch’s Das Schreiben als Kunstfertigkeit and Edward Johnson’s Writing and Illuminating, and Lettering. After some false starts, Zapf became a true master of the art, producing over fifty manuscript books, the highly regarded calligraphic manual Feder und Stichel (Pen and Graver in its English edition) and many superlative broadsides, as well as exceptional calligraphic panels in his own sgraffito technique.
Zapf has created some of the most important typefaces of the last seventy years. His first typeface, the fraktur named Gilgengart, designed in 1938 but released only in 1951, had a problematic birth due to the war, but Palatino, issued in 1948, went on to become one of the most popular typefaces of all time.
Further successes followed, including Virtuosa, Michelangelo, Sistina, and others. Zapf’s revolutionary Optima design of 1958 added a whole new facet to the category of sans-serif types.
Zapf joined the digital vanguard early on with his work on TeX, and in 1971 he designed the first type specifically made for digital typesetting, Marconi. In 1998, fifty years after Palatino, Linotype introduced Zapfino, in which Zapf melded calligraphic virtuosity with the possibilities of modern type technology.
In addition to his work in calligraphy and type design, Hermann Zapf is one of the greatest book designers of the twentieth century. Masterpieces include Manuale Typographicum I (1954) and II (1968), Typographic Variations (1963), Orbis Typographicus (1980) and Poetry Through Typography (1993). The latter was published by the Kelly-Winteron Press, who will also be publishing the Hermann Zapf Sketchbook Facsimile.
Risks and challenges
We’re excited to take on the challenges of reproducing these important sketchbooks. With decades of experience producing finely printed volumes for numerous clients, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Pierpont Morgan Library, The Grolier Club, International Typeface Corporation, The Frick Collection, The Amon Carter Museum, The Society of Scribes, and numerous others, we’re confident we can meet the demands of the project. Akira Kobayashi of Linotype GmBH has already made and sent us the high resolution scans of the pages made directly from the originals especially for this facsimile. Zapf authority Jerry Kelly has designed the book and contributes an introduction, setting the work in context. He will supervise production. If the project is funded, we see very little risk for our backers. We are eager to get this book in the hands of those who admire beautiful graphic work.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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