versions of Zapf's Renaissance Antiqua

Gareth Colgan's picture

This is my first time posting here, after a long look on the web it seems by far the best place for this enquiry.
There are two versions of Zapf's "Renaissance Antiqua" available: one from the company which produced it originally, Scangraphic; and the other from Elsner & Flake. Both are available in Opentype but the former is about half the price. Basic descriptions for the text (as opposed to display) version from MyFonts are given below.

Foundry/Vendor Elsner+Flake

Format OpenType
Name ZapfRenaissaBEFOP-Book
Version OTF 2.001;PS 002.000;Core 1.0.29
Family ZapfRenaissaBEFOP-Book
Sub Family Regular
PS Name ZapfRenaissaBEFOP-Book
Filename ZapfRenaissaBEFOP-Book.otf
File Size 29800

Copyright (c) 2003 Veronika Elsner, Guenther Flake GbR; Hamburg. All Rights Reserved.

Glyph Count 246
Character Set Standard

Myfonts Elsner & Flake link

Foundry/Vendor Scangraphic Digital Type Collection
Format OpenType
Name ZapfRenaisSBOP-Book
Version 1.000;PS 001.000;hotconv 1.0.38
Family ZapfRenaisSBOP-Book
Sub Family Regular
PS Name ZapfRenaisSBOP-Book
Filename ZapfRenaisSBOP-Book.otf
File Size 31596

Copyright (c) Scangraphic Prepress Technology GmbH, 1987 - 2003. Veronika Elsner, Guenther Flake GbR, Hamburg 2004

Glyph Count 230

Character Set Standard

Myfonts Scangraphic link

The only discussion I can find here about this type concerned the difference between the H (headline) version and the B (bodytext) version, which was settled quickly enough.

The full character map provided at MyFonts is the same in both cases although there is a difference in the glyph count.

If anyone is familiar with using these versions I would be grateful for their advice, particularly as to whether there is any compelling reason not to opt for the cheaper one! I should perhaps say that I am a small-craftsman and not at all informed about the computing technology side of things.

twardoch's picture

I've just compared both versions. The outlines in both versions are not identical but clearly they come from the same data (probably originally URW Ikarus files). The Elsner+Flake-branded versions typically have twice as many kerning pairs and overall better spacing.

The ScanGraphic version of Zapf Renaissance Book SC:

The Elsner+Flake version of Zapf Renaissance Book SC:

Adam Twardoch
MyFonts, typographic consultant

Ps. The "Insert image" does not seem to work, neither in Firefox nor in Safari.

Gareth Colgan's picture

Thank you Adam.
I had hoped that there might be someone who did some text setting with this face whose experience I could benefit from, but I guess it's just not that much used. I think I have only one book set in it, ABC-XYZapf. I've never seen any use of it in everyday publishing, I wondered whether there was any reason for this as it seems a very handsome design, the caps in particular are, to my eye, one of the most beautiful interpretations of the classical forms in the entire tradition -- I well remember the first time I came across them on the cover of Hermann Zapf & his Design Philosophy.

Palatine's picture

Welcome, Gareth.

This is common. You'll find that the same face is released by two or more companies, sometimes under different names. Bitstream has done this, Elsner & Flake, Carter & Cone, Enschede vs. Monotype, etc. Often, one of the releases will be of higher quality (or will have more osf goodies, for instance) than the other.

Compare ITC Galliard to the Galliard offered by Carter & Cone. Compare Adobe's Palatino to the countless others on the market. The list goes on. If you really want a quality face, a "real deal" to add to your collection, then Elsner & Flake is among your top choices. Of course, it all depends on your needs. Do some comparison shopping.


twardoch's picture


Scangraphic never was good at marketing their typefaces so neither Zapf Renaissance nor, for example, Today Sans go the exposure they deserved.


PabloImpallari's picture

Sorry to wake up this old thread.
Just wanted to add that Zapf Renaissance (by scangraphics) was used by Doyald Young to typeset his own book "Dangerous Curves" and looks great.

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