Gudrun Zapf von Hesse papers
Scope and Contents
The Gudrun Zapf von Hesse papers contain materials from 1934 to 2019, with the bulk of the papers dated between 1936 and 1998.
This collection contains materials related to Gudrun Zapf von Hesse’s professional career as a bookbinder, calligrapher, and typographer. Materials include correspondence, speeches, printed material, photographic material, administrative materials, digital material, and realia.
The Gudrun Zapf von Hesse papers have been arranged into three series, two of which have been divided into subseries. This collection is housed in 1 archival document box, 1 oversize box, and 1 flat file drawer.
- Creation: 1934 - 2019
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1936 - 1998
- Zapf von Hesse, Gudrun, 1918- (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Access to realia (the bone folder) is at the discretion of the archivist and curator as it is fragile.
Conditions Governing Use
This collection is open to researchers.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use
Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact Dr. Steven Galbraith at firstname.lastname@example.org for access inquiries.
“In my opinion, the best foundation for creating new alphabets is an intensive study of calligraphy.”
- Gudrun Zapf von Hesse
Gudrun Zapf von Hesse was born on January 2, 1918. She served a bookbinding apprenticeship with Otto Dorfner, finishing with a Master’s Diploma in 1940 after which she pursued an independent course of studies on calligraphy and letterforms, concentrating on the work of Rudolf Koch and Edward Johnston. After World War II, she opened her own book bindery, and learned punchcutting at the Bauer type foundry in Frankfurt, with the support of Georg Hartmann.
From 1946 to 1954, von Hesse taught lettering at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. After attracting notice at an exhibition of calligraphy, she was commissioned by the Stempel foundry in Frankfurt to design typefaces, and went on to a successful career as a typographer with Stempel. She married Hermann Zapf, Stempel’s art director and prolific typeface designer, on August 1, 1951.
In 1991, Hesse was the second woman to receive the prestigious Frederic W. Goudy award, given by the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. In 2001, she was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Friends of Calligraphy. She turned 100 in January 2018, whereupon Monotype released the titling typeface Hesse-Antiqua to mark the occasion:
“Gudrun Zapf von Hesse… is a woman of many talents: She would emphasize that she is a trained bookbinder first, but she was also active as a lettering artist, she has produced work in the graphic arts – and she is a typeface designer. As she turns 100 on this day, her first alphabet design is finally released after 70 years.” (https://www.fontshop.com/content/hesse-antiqua)
Hesse-Antiqua (2018, Monotype, with Ferdinand Ulrich) joined von Hesse’s other notable typefaces which include Christiana (Berthold), Diotima (Stempel), Nofret (Berthold), Shakespeare (Hallmark), and Smaragd (Stempel).
[Adapted from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gudrun_Zapf-von_Hesse#Career), edited by Nicole Pease]
2 Linear Feet (1 box, 1 oversize box) : Collection materials are stored in the Cary Collection stacks, range 17A (box 1) with oversize materials stored in the Graphic Design Archives cage range 10A, shelf 10A-31 (box 2). Flat file materials are in the Cary Collection stacks flat file case 4.
The Gudrun Zapf von Hesse papers document von Hesse’s professional career as a bookbinder, calligrapher, and typographer in the 20th and 21st centuries.
System of Arrangement
Series I. Professional work, 1936-1998
Subseries A. Bookbinding, 1937-1957
Subseries B. Calligraphy, 1936-1998
Subseries C. Typography, 1952-2019
Series II. References, 1934-2018
Subseries A. Realia, undated
Series III. Digital files, 2010-2019
Collection materials are stored in the Cary Collection stacks, range 17A (box 1) with oversize materials stored in the Graphic Design Archives cage range 10A, shelf 10A-31 (box 2). Flat file materials are in the Cary Collection stacks flat file case 4.
The Gudrun Zapf von Hesse papers were donated in 1991 and 2007.
Processed by Nicole Pease, April 2019; finding aid by Nicole Pease, April 2019.
- Gudrun Zapf von Hesse papers
- RIT Cary Graphic Arts Collection, Rochester Institute of Technology
- Nicole R. Pease
- April 2019
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
- The processing of this collection was made possible by a generous grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.