Linotype introduces a new classic – January 26, 2007

Palatino undressed – Sans and Sans Informal

Bad Homburg, 26 January, 2007. Palatino Sans recasts the mold. Migrating his classic typeface from a serif to sans, Hermann Zapf makes an epochal leap. He not only transforms the traditional letters of the famous Palatino™ typeface into the grotesque, but does it with a warmth that transcends the usual cool associations with a sans serif typeface. This synthesis of modern and classic styles leaves room for a bright openness, so the type strides across the page. The most amazing part, however, the shadows of lost serifs in the strokes give it an almost handwritten feel. Palatino Sans Ultra Light, in particular, exhibits a buoyant spontaneity, reflecting most evidently the expressiveness of a written form. The style Palatino Sans Informal goes one step further and teases new possibilities out of old-world roots – a call to explore new nuances of typography.

Hermann Zapf proved with his legendary Palatino that classic forms can serve as the basis for a highly original typeface. The release of Palatino nova last year ushered that success into the 21st century. With Palatino Sans & Palatino Sans Informal, Zapf rewrites history again to create a unique interpretation for our time. Zapf began sketching ideas for a sans serif in the 1970s. After the success of Optima™ nova, he envisioned Palatino Sans becoming a genre in itself as well – and revisited his old sketches. Eventually two new alphabets emerged, uniquely displaying expert manipulation of digital technology to convey his idea of an open, multi-purpose typeface. A gentle hand, light and communicative, firmly guides his unwavering sense of the practical. Palatino Sans masterfully realizes the vision of an expressive and emotional typeface, with unmatched clarity and precision.

Palatino Sans and Palatino Sans Informal address the need for a warm, interpretative text which is also clear and familiar on the page. Its firm foundation in a classical type makes it durable, but the movements are organic, less constructed. Instead of monotone strokes, its elegant curved outlines are reminiscent of handwriting, not so uniform or sharp. This inspired Zapf to take the designs one step further. With Palatino Sans Informal, he creates a boldly playful type, certain letters unashamedly extending their usual dimensions. This makes the typeface especially adaptable and open to experimentation. Palatino Sans Informal presents an appealing face that invites the reader to discover new layers of meaning and communication.

Zapf designed these two entirely original alphabets to expand the use of Palatino nova, yet also accompany other roman faces. The balance of organic humanity with clarity make it perfect for any printed material where a normal sans serif may be too technical, like in packaging and product design, annual reports, scientific publications or magazine headlines.

Palatino Sans Ultra Light emphasizes the warmth of the written form with the most impressive effect. Integrating the variations which the pressure of a hand has on a stroke creates a dynamic flair and avoids the expressionless plain strokes of other sans serif types. Due to its soft, elegant and harmonious forms, Palatino Sans Ultra Light is ideally suited for healthcare and beauty applications, where the message of communication and warmth is especially important. This style also includes a set of playful arrows to enlarge its versatility for use as signals, pointers or markers. Plus, the advantages of OpenType allow for extra ligatures to mix & match interesting letter combinations (like double T) for headlines and advertising.

Palatino Sans and Sans Informal work like a system. Together with the many related styles and weights of the Palatino nova family, designers are equipped with unlimited possibilities. For instance, by setting headlines in Palatino Sans and body copy in Palatino nova. Or by mixing roman with sans serif letters to highlight names and dates in annual reports or separate two different pieces of information on a page.

Palatino Sans – a new entity at Linotype, marking a monumental migration from old to new while also awakening a human spirit. Discover more about this new Palatino classic at

Linotype GmbH, based in Bad Homburg, Germany and a wholly owned subsidiary of Monotype Imaging Inc., looks back onto a history of more than 120 years. Building on its strong heritage, Linotype develops state-of-the-art font technology and offers more than 9000 typefaces, 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 7,000 fonts in OpenType™) 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 - 0
Fax: +49 (0) 61 72 - 484 - 499
E-Mail: [email protected]

Please find more typeface application samples on the Internet at

This press release is available as pdf file. Please download:
English version (546 kb)
German version (63 kb)

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