[texhax] Hermann Zapf

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at gmx.de
Thu Jun 11 02:50:09 CEST 2015

On 2015-06-10 at 15:56:29 -0400, Michael Barr wrote:

 > The NY Times announced in today's paper that Hermann Zapf, the
 > fontifex maximus has died at 96.  I know he was important to the
 > TeX community.

See link below.

Michael, thank you for mentioning it.  Yes, Hermann Zapf passed away
last Thursday, June 4.

I'm convinced that the extremely high quality of TeX and Metafont
couldn't be achieved without him.  Don Knuth is a brilliant computer
scientist but I think that only the collaboration with Hermann Zapf
allowed him to write a program which people still use in hundred

Thus Hermann Zapf wasn't only important to the TeX community, such a
community would certainly not exist without his contributions.

If you've ever seen how Hermann Zapf drew strokes on a blackboard you
can imagine how big his influence was on Metafont.  No other font
editor I'm aware of supports calligraphy so directly, if at all.

He provided fonts for TeX (Euler, for example).  And he also assisted
the GUST e-foundry (TeX Gyre fonts), despite of his age.

We also shouldn't forget that many famous font designers attended
Hermann Zapf's lectures at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
This led to many beautiful fonts, like Lucida.

Furthermore, the microtypographic extensions of pdfTeX (character
protrusion and font expansion) were suggested by Hermann Zapf himself
when he attended a talk about pdfTeX held by Hàn Thế Thành at the
Dante conference in 2000. 

We should be grateful.

I met Hermann Zapf at several TeX conferences and I'll never forget
his modesty and kindness.

I'll miss him.






Reinhard Kotucha                            Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                    mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de

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