Garamond is a group of many old-style serif typefaces, originally those designed by Parisian craftsman Claude Garamond and other 16th century French engravers, and now many modern revivals. Though his name was written as “Garamont” in his lifetime, the typefaces are generally spelled “Garamond”. Modern Garamond (typeface) revivals also often add a matching bold and “lining” numbers at the height of capital letters, neither of which were used in Garamond’s time.
Some distinctive characteristics in Garamond’s letters are:
- letters with a relatively organic structure resembling handwriting with a pen but with a slightly more structured and upright design
- the small eye of the “e” and the bowl of the a, which has a sharp hook upwards at top left.
- The “M” is slightly splayed.
- The x-height (height of lower-case letters) is low, especially at larger sizes, making the capitals large relative to the lower case
- The top serifs on the ascenders of letters like “d” have a downward slope and rise subtly above the cap height.