Hermann Zapf: Design at Hallmark Cards

by Fred Showker

 Hermann Zapf Calligraphy & Type Designs Author Rick Cusick discusses the art of "Lettering" in new book published by RIT. Hallmark helps us appreciate the small moments in life -- with greeting cards and special messages garnished with designs and lettering that enhance the full reading experience -- and we can thank Hermann Zapf.

The Contribution of Hermann Zapf In a beautifully illustrated book, What Our Lettering Needs: The Contribution of Hermann Zapf to Calligraphy & Type Designs at Hallmark Cards, author Rick Cusick recounts the legacy of Zapf and his contributions to the world's leading manufacturer of greeting cards. The book is published by RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press, a scholarly publishing enterprise at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Drawing for Shakespeare italic typeface by Hermann ZapfZapf, a typeface designer who hails from Darmstadt, Germany, was first invited to visit the Hallmark headquarters in Kansas City in 1965. His stint as a consultant to the company was during a vital period in the company's evolution -- when the ideas and dreams of Hallmark founder J.C. Hall and his son and successor, Donald Hall Sr., were searching for 'the very best' ways to improve the quality of their products.

Cusick is presently the manager of font development for Hallmark Cards and oversees the design and development of proprietary fonts for the corporation. He is also a respected designer, calligrapher and teacher working with the University of Kansas in developing lectures and curriculum for lettering, typography and type design.
(Drawing for Shakespeare italic typeface by Hermann Zapf)

cover Since the late '70s, designer Cusick has provided, in articles and presentations, most of what has been written about the Hallmark/Zapf association. The book is a tribute to Zapf's own philosophy that the artist's challenge is 'to ensure, despite technology and mass production, that beauty is never lost.'

The softcover edition of What Our Lettering Needs is available for purchase online for $24.95 at http://carypress.rit.edu or by calling RIT's Cary Graphic Arts Press at 585-475-6766.
GO See all the fabulous books on calligraphy at : carypress.rit.edu


RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press and its imprint, RIT Press, are scholarly publishing enterprises at Rochester Institute of Technology. The Press is associated with the Melbert B. Cary Jr. Graphic Arts Collection, one of the country's premier libraries on the history and practice of printing.

Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized for academic leadership in computing, engineering, imaging science, sustainability, and fine and applied arts, in addition to unparalleled support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. RIT enrolls 17,500 full- and part-time students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.

For more than two decades, U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIT among the nation's leading comprehensive universities. RIT is featured in The Princeton Review's 2012 edition of The Best 376 Colleges as well as its Guide to 311 Green Colleges. The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2012 names RIT as a 'Best Buy,' and The Chronicle of Higher Education recognizes RIT among the 'Great Colleges to Work For 2011.'

And, thanks for reading

Fred Showker

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