In the world of typefaces, Palatino is one of my personal favorites, and if I ever have a book or article published anywhere, this is the typeface I would want my writing to be set in. A serif typeface, Palatino is elegant and smooth, with delicate, straight lines, as well as fun swooshes (such as in the lowercase “g,” “a,” and uppercase “Q”) that carry traces of the personal feel of handwriting. Perfect for longer passages of text, Palatino is a typeface that is most commonly used in books and scholarly journals.
Palatino was designed by Hermann Zapf for the Linotype foundry and was initially released in 1948. Palatino, based on the humanist fonts of the Italian Renaissance, was named for the 16th-century Italian master of calligraphy, Giambattista Palatino. The typeface mirrors the letters created by a nib pen (used most often in calligraphy) while modernizing (and expanding) the size and proportion of its letters. By reshaping the letters and making the strokes darker, Zapf created a sleeker and more easily readable design.
An extremely popular typeface, Palatino has expanded broadly since its creation. In 1999, with computers getting more popular, Zapf was asked to revise Palatino for both Linotype and Microsoft. The result creating Palatino Linotype, a family that incorporated extended character sets in Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic alphabets. It also included currency signs, subscripts and superscripts, and fractions, all of which can be found in roman, italic, and bold weights. To keep up with the times, Palatino Linotype also includes an “interrobang” (a combination ? and !) as seen right.
The Palatino font family continued to expand in the early 2000s. Zapf, who is now 93 years old, collaborated with contemporary typeface artist Akira Kobayashi. Together, the two released three new families for Linotype: Palatino Nova, Palatino Sans (a sans-serif typeface), and Palatino Sans Informal, in 2005 and 2006.
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