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Diotima Classic is a total upheaval for the 21st century of Gudrun Zapf von Hesse's mid-20th-century Diotima, one of the most beautiful types ever cast in metal. Its roots lay in a calligraphic sheet written by Gudrun Zapf von Hesse. The text was the Hyperion to Diotima" by Friedrich Hölderlin; Diotima is the name of a Greek priestess in Plato's dialogue about love. In the philosopher's imagination, she should appear slim and beautiful.
In 1948, Gudrun Zapf von Hesse finished the typeface's Roman. The Diotima family was released as a metal typeface for hand setting by D. Stempel AG in 1951-53. This original Diotima is a festive design particularly suited to invitations, programs, and poems. The delicate Italic drew attention to text passages that should be emphasized.
Linotype's previous digital Diotima only had one weight, which looked great in display sizes, but was too thin for text setting. Diotima Classic has four weights. The new Regular has more robust serifs and thicker hairlines, making it more appropriate for text sizes. The Diotima variation with finer serif remains under the name Light. Gudrun Zapf von Hesse also took the opportunity in 2008 to add an extremely heavy weight to the family. In comparison to the old Diotima, letterforms of the Diotima Classic are more harmonious and balanced. The rhythm of the Italic letters in Diotima Classic is more consistent. The lining figures of the Diotima Classic align with caps, and the letter spacing of the tabular lining figures in Diotima Classic is significantly better. The forms of the figures have been improved as well."
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