Hermann Zapf, a true icon in typeface design and calligraphy, died on June 4, 2015. German born, Zapf created such ubiquitous typefaces as Optima, Palatino and Zapf Dingbats.

In 2007, for a school project at NSCAD, I selected Hermann Zapf as the subject of a typographic poster. Drawing inspiration from swiss poster design, I created an angled grid to display Zapf Dingbats at varying scales. I still like the aesthetics of the final product eight years later; in retrospect the swiss design inspiration was a bit misguided. Zapf was teaching calligraphy during the mid 20th century, when swiss design was most popular. Additionally, his most popular typefaces are humanist and don’t really lend themselves to swiss design.

Hermann Zapf type poster