Reinterpretation of a classic in the Platinum Collection – November 24, 2005

Linotype publishes Hermann Zapf‘s Palatino™ nova

Bad Homburg, 24th November 2005. Linotype introduces one of the previous century’s most successful classic typefaces in a new interpretation. Over fifty years after its original creation by Hermann Zapf, Palatino has been digitally redesigned in its entirety for the Platinum Collection. As an OpenType format, Palatino nova encompasses a far wider range of characters and many design improvements, impressively overcoming the limits of traditional typesetting and supporting universal implementation on all platforms. Other unique features of this new member to the Platinum Collection include special titling variations as well as Cyrillic and Greek characters.

Palatino’s designer, Hermann Zapf, was born in 1918 and is renowned throughout the world as a typographer and a successful book designer who remains active to this day. Considered the decisive breakthrough in Hermann Zapf’s career, the original edition of Palatino was completed at the beginning of 1950 and quickly became a type design icon. Widespread international recognition for Palatino, however, first came in 1956 when the typeface was used in the Standard Oil Company’s annual report. Although he has since produced numerous other important fonts, to this day Palatino remains one of Hermann Zapf’s personal favorites. In fact, once he wrote “Hermann Zapf = Palatino” as a headline for an overview of his many design achievements.

Bound by the technical constraints of its time, Palatino was designed for hot metal typesetting. Later, adaptations for photosetting did little to liberate the typeface from the limits in which Hermann Zapf had originally worked. The revolutionary developments of digital technology and the OpenType format, however, have opened up a whole new range of possibilities for a thorough revision. Such a new interpretation corresponds with Hermann Zapf’s belief in extracting the maximum benefit from the technology of the times. He received support in the digitalization process from Akira Kobayashi, Type Director at Linotype, with whom he had already worked together closely on the digitalization of ZapfinoTM and OptimaTM nova.

The redesign of Palatino is officially considered an interpretation of the original, a merging of classic letter forms with the new possibilities of digital typography. The result is a clear and consistent font design, characterized by ideal legibility, an unmistakable charm and limitless possibilities for typographic application.

The expansion of the various alphabets fulfills all the criteria of a modern typeface. Instead of the 256 characters in the Latin PostScript font, the OpenType font of Palatino nova has up to 850 glyphs. This characteristic extension of the alphabets for the Platinum Collection includes such highlights as the entire Central and Eastern European letters as well as small caps in normal and italic weights. A wide variety of alternative characters enhance the creative production of books and magazines. Advertisers can also look forward to a rich supply of special letters and inspiring all caps alphabets. Furthermore, scientific publications are supported by Greek and Cyrillic characters as well as mathematical symbols.

Palatino’s quantum leap into the digital age is further distinguished by a clear focus on form, as Linotype put a great deal of effort into the reworking of each individual letter. Consequently, the proportioning of the alphabets now better facilitates kerning and the fine-tuned fitting of the characters. Another novelty is the redesign of the italic weights with widths in accordance with their forms.

In terms of typographical applications, no wish is left unfulfilled. Palatino nova even features special titling fonts (including reworked versions of MichelangeloTM and SistinaTM) as well as two new sans serif designs which will be published soon. Palatino nova represents an exciting revival of a classic Linotype typeface over half a century after its inception. The product has been launched officially at an event dedicated to Hermann Zapf.

For those interested in further information on this comprehensive reissue of Palatino, provides a plentiful supply of in-depth details.

More information about this premiere Linotype compilation and the highlights of the update can be accessed online via

Linotype GmbH, based in Bad Homburg, Germany and a member of the Heidelberg Group, looks back onto a history of 119 years. Building on its strong heritage, Linotype develops state-of-the-art font technology and offers more than 6,000 original fonts, covering the whole typographic spectrum from antique to modern, from east to west, and from classical to experimental. All typefaces (in PostScript™ and TrueType™ format as well as more than 2,300 fonts in OpenTypeTM) are now also available for instant download at In addition to supplying digital fonts, Linotype also offers comprehensive and individual consultation and support services for font applications in worldwide (corporate) communication.

Linotype GmbH
Du-Pont-Straße 1
D-61352 Bad Homburg
Tel.: +49 (0) 61 72 - 484 - 404
Fax: +49 (0) 61 72 - 484 - 5 24 60
E-Mail: [email protected]
This press release is available as pdf file. Please download:
English version (56 kb)
German version (824 kb)

English rtf version (64 kb)
German rtf version (716 kb)

A Palatino nova application sample is available as pdf file. Please download:
Palatino nova sample (756 kb)