In early 1994, Hermann Zapf
received a worrying letter from Palo Alto: “My girlfriend has left me. I no longer have any interest in typography. I need to start a new life.”
The Zapfino b as a tattoo: quintupled using Kaleidotype and arranged into a rosette (Image: Buttgereit and Heidenreich)
Zapf was concerned about 29-year-old David Siegel
. Not until Siegel sent him his book “Secrets of Successful Web Sites”
three years later was he reassured that all was well.
Zapf and Siegel had spent almost twelve months working on an early version of the typeface Zapfino
. At Stanford University
in 1993, Siegel had picked up an idea for a chaos program that would use a large range of character forms to generate a dynamic, human typeface. Zapf had resurrected a script font from 1944 for the project. And then, just as it was nearing completion, the letter had arrived ...
Aesthetically and technically, Zapfino, with its connected characters, was a welcome addition to the range of script fonts available, with ligatures, alternative forms and numerous illustrations
In 1998, Zapf
was reminded of the experiments when he saw a presentation at Linotype using intelligent TrueType GX fonts that were able to modulate characters. GX later became AAT (Apple Advanced Typography), a component in the Mac OS X
operating system which incorporates the sophisticated Zapfino
typeface. And Zapfino – in an expanded, cross-platform version – now does its job via OpenType technology.