Palatino is the name of a large typeface family that began as an old style serif typeface designed by Hermann Zapf initially released in 1948 by the Linotype foundry.
In 1999, Zapf revised Palatino for Linotype and Microsoft, called Palatino Linotype. The revised family incorporated extended Latin, Greek, Cyrillic character sets.
Under the collaboration of Zapf and Akira Kobayashi the Palatino typeface family was expanded. Linotype released the Palatino nova, Palatino Sans, and Palatino Sans Informal families, expanding the Palatino typeface families to include humanist sans-serif typefaces. Palatino nova was released in 2005, while the others were released in 2006.
Palatino Named after 16th century Italian master of calligraphy Giambattista Palatino, Palatino is based on the humanist fonts of the Italian Renaissance, which mirror the letters formed by a broadnib pen; this gives a calligraphic grace. But where the Renaissance faces tend to use smaller letters with longer vertical lines (ascenders and descenders) with lighter strokes, Palatino has larger proportions, and is considered much easier to read. See the "typeface" article for more on classification.
It remains one of the most widely-used (and copied) text typefaces, has been adapted to virtually every type of technology, and is one of the ten most used serif typefaces. It is one of several related typefaces by Zapf, each showing influence of the Italian Renaissance letter forms. The group includes Palatine, Sistina, Michaelangelo titling, and Aldus, which takes inspiration from printing types cut by Francesco Griffo c. 1495 in the print shop of Aldus Manutius.
Palatino Linotype is a version of the Palatino family that incorporates extended Latin, Greek, Cyrillic characters, as well as currency signs, subscripts and superscripts, and fractions. The family includes roman and italic in text and bold weights. It is one of the few fonts to incorporate an interrobang.
Palatino nova is a redesigned version of Palatino, by Hermann Zapf and Akira Kobayashi. This Palatino nova typeface family includes roman and italics in the light, text, medium, and bold weights, a titling face formerly called Michelangelo Titling, and a large and small capital face called Palatino nova Imperial formerly called Sistina.
Palatino nova has reduced support on extended Latin, Greek, Cyrillic characters. In particular, Greek and Cyrillic is only available in Regular and Bold weight fonts. However, extended accented Latin characters, ligatures, small letter forms, symbols are available in Private Use Area block. Palatino nova Titling replaces lowercase characters with true small capitals, and the supports for Greek Extended and Cyrillic characters are reduced.
The font family was premiered on 2005-11-24, the same day as Hermann Zapf’s 87th birthday celebration.
In Palatino Sans, the specimens shown in the preannouncement resemble Optima in but have a softer, more organic feel. Unlike the serifed counterpart, the Sans families do not have full Greek or Cyrillic characters.
Palatino Sans Informal Palatino Sans Informal incorporates informal characteristics to the Palatino Sans, such as asymmetrical A, K, N, W, X, Y, w.
Palatino Arabic It is a family desined by Lebanese designer Nadine Chahine and Hermann Zapf. The design is based on the Al-Ahram typeface designed by Zapf in 1956 but reworked and modified to fit the Palatino nova family. The design is Naskh in style but with a strong influence of Thuluth style.
This family only comes in 1 font, corresponding to Palatino nova Regular. It support basic Latin, Arabic, Persian, and Urdu scripts. It also includes proportional and tabular numerals for the supported languages.
Availability The digital type foundries Linotype and Adobe Systems sell authentic versions of Palatino and derivative families. However, certain hot metal versions of Palatino, of smaller x-height, are considered both more legible and elegant to many people. In the Bitstream font collection, Palatino is called Zapf Calligraphic.
Palatino Linotype is shipped with Windows 2000 or later, and Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003.
Variants and similar typefaces
A comparison of Linotype Palatino, Monotype Book Antiqua, and Unternehmensberatung Rubow Weber (URW) Palladio L.Zapf also designed Aldus, which appeared in the D. Stempel AG catalog in 1954. Both Aldus and Palatino were Zapf’s new form of old style typefaces inspired by the Renaissance. Originally intended as the book or text weight for Zapf's Palatino font family, it was instead released as a separate family.
Microsoft distributes a similar typeface, Book Antiqua (originally by Monotype), which is considered by many to be an imitation. Book Antiqua was designed as an alternative to licensing the fonts mandated by Adobe's PostScript standard. Both Book Antiqua and Arial (the alternative for Helvetica) share the original typefaces' character width, spacing and kerning properties. However, Book Antiqua resembles Palatino much more than Arial does Helvetica; indeed, the two are quite difficult to tell apart. One difference is in the width of the C and the S; the Book Antiqua versions do not look quite "correct" to some readers.
In 1993, Zapf resigned from l'Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) over what he viewed as its hypocritical attitude toward unauthorized copying by prominent ATypI members.
Although Book Antiqua is not a direct copy, Microsoft has since licensed and distributes a version of Zapf's original design called Palatino Linotype in Windows 2000, XP and Vista.
URW Palladio L, another similar typeface is available, this time by URW (Unternehmensberatung Rubow Weber — from the founders' names now retitled URW++). Zapf actually did work with URW on this typeface, but Linotype retains the license to the name Palatino.
Zapf Renaissance Antiqua was a new interpretation of the Palatino family.