The typographer Hermann Zapf developed several typefaces that today are among the most commonly used standard fonts. Born in Nuremberg in 1918, Hermann Zapf served an apprenticeship as a retoucher between 1934 and 1938 at Karl Ulrich & Co, printers. In 1938-39 Hermann Zapf worked in the Paul Koch printing workshop in Frankfurt am Main. After the war, Hermann Zapf was employed from 1947 in the typographical division of the Stempel type foundry, where the fonts he designed included Optima (from 1958), Palatino (from 1948), and Sistina (1951).
Between 1957 and 1974, Hermann Zapf worked as an adviser to the Linotype Company in New York. From 1977 Hermann Zapf designed the ITC Zapf typeface; from 1999 he worked on creating Zapfino.
From 1972 until 1981, Hermann Zapf taught typography at the "Technische Hochschule" in Darmstadt. Between 1977 and 1987, Hermann Zapf was also a professor at the School of Printing in Rochester, New York.
There Hermann Zapf did ground-breaking work in the digitalization of fonts for computer software, redesigning a great many fonts for digital processing.