In Frankfurt am Main in 1949, on the occasion of Goethe’s 200th birthday
, a small volume with the title “Von der dreifachen Ehrfurcht – Gedanken Goethes über Erziehung zu edlem Menschentum
(“The Three Reverences”) was published in a limited edition of 1,000 numbered copies. Typography enthusiasts now pay a small fortune for the book, which is set in an early version of Palatino
Hermann Zapf’s most successful typeface was released officially one year later, both for manual typesetting and for Linotype. The italic and semi-bold fonts followed in 1951. Among the first users of Palatino was the Gutenberg Yearbook, whose patronage increased the typeface’s profile. Its international breakthrough began in 1956 when the Standard Oil Company
set its annual report in Palatino.
In 2004, more than 50 years after its conception, the typeface was fully reworked and re-released as Palatino Nova
. With careful digitisation and a larger range of characters, the limitations of mechanical and phototypesetting were soon forgotten.