[[Ten Specimens from Adobe Systems]]


John Warnock and Chuck Geschke were software engineers at Xerox’s legendary PARC computer research laboratory. There the two worked on programs for graphics applications, and with “Postscript” they thought they had developed a good product that had commercial potential, but Xerox would only use it for in-house work, refusing to offer it to commercial printers. Frustrated, they left the firm in 1982 to form Adobe Systems in order to market the page description language they were working on. Thus began a new era in digital typography, a revolution that is still being felt today, four decades later. Sumner Stone was brought in to oversee the type design program and here are specimen books for ten of the original faces he and his team brought out. A lovely and useful set that includes specimens of Adobe Garamond (1989), Trajan (1989), Charlemagne (1989), Lithos (1989), Adobe Caslon (1990), Tekton (1990), Minion (1992), Minion Multiple Master (1992) (not shown in the pics), Caflisch Script (1993), and Penumbra (1995).

Full Disclosure: We swiped the bulk of the above description from the Grolier Club’s exhibition of One Hundred Books Famous in Typography. (See other books from the exhibition that we offer here.)

  • Size: 5.625 × 9 inches
  • Pages: Various, but 16–64
  • Binding: Six pamphlets + four softcover
  • Condition: Good used condition. The tops are foxed, but that’ll just make it seem like you’ve had these for years. The softcover specimens have the name of the faces nicely lettered by hand on their spines so you can tell what they are when on the shelf.
  • Publisher: Adobe Systems, 1989–1995