Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse

Biography

Bookbinder, calligrapher, type designer. Born 2 January 1918 in Schwerin, Mecklenburg. 1934-40: apprenticed as bookbinder to Otto Dorfner (1865-1943) in Weimar, receiving her diploma in 1940; then self-taught letterer. 1941: studied briefly under Johannes Boehland at the Meisterschule für Graphik und Buchgewerbe, Berlin. 1944-5: taught bookbinding and lettering as therapy to wounded soldiers, Bad Ischl, Austria. 1946: moved to Frankfurt a.M. where she had her own bookbindery (to 1955) and taught lettering at the Städel-Schule (to 1954). 1951: married Hermann Zapf. Designed the typefaces Diotima (1953; the italic 1955; both Stempel), Smaragd ([Emerald], 1953, Stempel), Ariadne (1954, Stempel), Shakespeare (1968, Hallmark Cards, Kansas City), Nofret (1986, Berthold), Carmina (1986, Bitstream), Christiana (1991, Berthold), Colombine (1991, URW), Alcuin (1991, URW). Recipient of the Frederic W. Goudy Award (1991); Lifetime Achievement Award, Friends of Calligraphy, San Francisco (2001). In September 2001, a Zapfest, a celebration of the work of Gudrun and Hermann Zapf, was held in San Francisco; 2 September was declared by special Proclamation of the Mayor ‘Hermann and Gudrun Zapf Day’.

Writings by

    Speech at presentation of Goudy Award, and ‘Bookbinding, Calligraphy, and Type Design. Remarks and Musings about my Design Process’, in Calligraphy Review, v. 10, no. 1, 1992
  • Gudrun Zapf von Hesse, West New York, NJ: Mark Batty, 2002 (English edition
  • biography).

Writings about

  • Erik Lindegren, ABC of Lettering and Printing Types, Askim (Sweden): Lindegren, 1964/5 (3 vols.)
  • 8-page supplement set in Diotima, Imprimatur, 1954/55, between pp. 240/41
  • JR and GKS, ‘Schrift als Bild’, Der Druckspiegel, Nov. 1955, supplement
  • ‘Diotima’, Graphische Woche, 30 Jan. 1957, p. 52
  • ‘Smaragd’, Printing News, 20 Feb. 1958, p. 6
  • ‘Smaragd’, Print in Britain, March 1958, suppl. Between pp. 336/7
  • showing of Diotima, GKS, 1963, p. 266
  • Paul Hayden Duensing, ‘Diotima of Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse’, Fine Print, Oct. 1980, pp. 134-5
  • SC, 1987
  • 1990-present: Calligraphy Review, v. 10, no. 1, 1992
  • Gudrun Zapf von Hesse/Schrift und Bucheinbände (exh. cat.), Darmstadt: Landes- und Hochschulbibliothek, 1998
  • Hans A. Halbey, ‘Einige essayistische Gedanken zur Schrift’, Philobiblon, Dec. 1999, pp. 269-75
  • (showing of Alcuin), Hermann Zapf, ‘Calligraphy and typeface design’, in Patricia Lovett, The British Library Companion to Calligraphy, Illumination and Heraldry, London: British Library, 2000, p. 45
  • showing of Smaragd, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Feb. 1958, p. 56
  • ‘Das Alphabet des Monats’ (Diotima-Kursiv), Typographische (or Typografische) Monatsblätter (journal), St Gallen: 1952-93, Zurich: 1994-present., Oct. 1959, p. 513
  • Smaragd, Typographische (or Typografische) Monatsblätter (journal), St Gallen: 1952-93, Zurich: 1994-present., April 1960, p. 243
  • Gottfried Pott, ‘Schriftkunst’, Gutenberg Jahrbuch, 2000, pp. 231-56, esp. p. 239
  • John Prestianni, ed., Calligraphic type design in the digital age. An exhibition in honor of the contributions of Hermann and Gudrun Zapf, San Francisco: Gingko Press, 2001. See also ‘The Life Story of Hermann Zapf’ (autobiographical essay), in The Fine Art of Letters, The Work of Hermann Zapf (exh. cat.), New York: The Grolier Club, 2000
  • John Dreyfus, review of Gudrun Zapf von Hesse, in Matrix 22, Winter 2002, pp. 163-5 Jerry Kelly, review of Gudrun Zapf von Hesse, in Letter Arts Review, v. 17, no. 2, 2002, pp. 57-8
  • www.klingspor-museum.de
  • www.schriftenservice-d-stempel.de (Stempel history).
  • 1954-89: showing of Diotima, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Aug. 1954, p. 54
  • ‘Das Alphabet des Monats’ (Diotima-Antiqua), Typographische (or Typografische) Monatsblätter (journal), St Gallen: 1952-93, Zurich: 1994-present., April 1959, p. 233
  • Max Caflisch, ‘Bitstream Carmina, eine neue Schrift von Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse’, Typographische (or Typografische) Monatsblätter (journal), St Gallen: 1952-93, Zurich: 1994-present., 6, 1988, 8-page inset

Exhibitions

  • Städel Kunsthochschule, Frankfurt a.M., 1948
  • Grafiska Institutet, Stockholm, 1952 (with Hermann Zapf)
  • Klingspor Museum, Offenbach a.M., 1970
  • ITC Center, New York, 1985
  • Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, 1991
  • Hessische Landes- und Hochschulbibliothek, Darmstadt, 1998
  • San Francisco Public Library, 2001 (with Hermann Zapf)
  • Mills College, Oakland, CA, 2001.

Collections

  • San Francisco Public Library.
  • Cary Graphic Arts, Rochester, New York