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Indices : Typefaces : Zapfino

Linotype’s Zapfino is a fine, elegant script typeface based on Hermann Zapf’s beautiful calligraphy. What would have on its own been a graceful and beautiful font has, over the years, served as a testbed for advanced typographic technologies, to the point that the most current implementation of Zapfino as of this writing, Zapfino Extra Pro, has achieved what seems to be limited sentience. It has an extensive, pan-European character set (barring Greek and Cyrillic, and with many of the diacritical characters drawn by Akira Kobayashi in close consultation with Zapf), each character form has at least four alternates to make the script flow more naturally, and it has an exceedingly complex set of ligatures and automatic substitutions (implemented by John Hudson for the TrueType version shipped with Mac OS X, and by Adam Twardoch for the Zapfino Extra Pro (Contextual) OpenType version available from Linotype). It is a challenging typeface to set and rewards experimentation.

More information about the various Zapfino fonts, including PDFs, can be found at the Linotype’s website on its Zapfino font family page.