Prolific typeface designer Hermann Zapf passed away earlier this month at the age of 96. The creator of approximately 200 fonts and typefaces, he is best known for his works Optima, Palatino, Zapfino, and Zapf Dingbats.

Born in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1918, Zapf educated himself on typography and calligraphy while working as an apprentice photo retoucher and revered the work of calligrapher Rudolf Koch. Zapf found great success with his font Palatino, first designed in 1948 and revised throughout the ’50s, and spent decades teaching at universities and working for companies like Hallmark.

As typography evolved from print to digital, Zapf remained at the forefront of the field. His font Marconi was the first to be developed using the Ikarus typography software, and Zapfino so impressed Steve Jobs that he licensed it to be part of Apple’s OS X operating system. The font continues to be featured on Macintosh computers today.

“The role played by Hermann Zapf in helping transform an invaluable communication medium to enable it to transcend the analogue Gutenberg Galaxy and enter our digital information society was quite simply unique,” wrote Andreas Weber, the producer of several publications about Zapf, in an obituary published by Linotype . “We cannot and shall not forget him.”

Many of Hermann Zapf’s fonts are available for download at linotypeom .

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