Alphabet Stories

by Hermann Zapf
Price: $65.00

After a complete sell-out of the American edition, RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press is releasing a second edition of Alphabet Stories: A Chronicle of Technical Developmentsby famed German calligrapher and typographer, Hermann Zapf. This new edition is enhanced by the addition of a letterpress-printed broadside designed by Zapf. The insert was typeset and printed at the RIT Cary Graphic Arts Collection using its collection of rare metal “Virtuosa” type—Zapf’s elegant script face originally released by Stempel Typefounders in 1952.

This book is the first Hermann Zapf monograph to be typeset in the new Palatino Nova and Palatino Sans digital typefaces issued by Linotype. Written as an anecdotal first-person account, the reader is treated to Zapf's personal recollections of technical breakthroughs. Zapf reveals milestones tracing his education in 1930s Germany, to his work on forefront of computer-aided typesetting in the 1970s, to the tour de force design of a complex calligraphic font—Zapfino in the late ’90s. Vivid reproductions of Zapf's calligraphy, production proofs, typographic specimens, and photographs complete the portrait of one of the most prolific designers of our time.

Alphabet Storiesmasterfully printed in color on an uncoated cream-colored paper, includes the illustrated narrative, a plate section, a selected bibliography, and a postscript by David Pankow, curator of the Melbert B. Cary, Jr. Graphic Arts Collection, which maintains one of the most comprehensive American archives of Zapf’s work.


Book details

Publisher: RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press (01/2007)
ISBN-13: 978-1-933360-29-4
Binding: Case-bound in cloth with foil stamping, letterpress broadside insert
Pages: 150
Illustrations: 96 color
Size: 7.25 x 11 in.
Shipping Weight: 1.4

Table of contents

Nuremberg 1918

Inflation in Germany

School Years


Lettering Exercises

Fritz Kredel





D. Stempel AG


Palatino Roman

Pen and Graver

Das Blumen ABC

August Rosenberger

Aldus Book





Manuale Typographicum

Al-ahram Arabic

Hallmark Textura

Program IBM 1130







Rochester Institute of Technology

Apple Computer

Zapf, Burns & Company

Donald Knuth

AMS Euler

Renaissance Antiqua

Zapf Dingbats & Essentials


Optima Nova

Palatino Arabic

Palatino Sans

Illustrations/plate section

List of Alphabets designed by Hermann Zapf


Postscript by David Pankow

Letterpress broadside in Virtuosa