Graphic Arts | Rare Books and Special Collections | Princeton University Library
Unseen Hands: Women Printers, Binders and Book Designers    
      thumbnail gallery   Name   Occupation   Timeline  


Gudrun Zapf von Hesse
German, 1918-

Artist, designer, calligrapher, and bookbinder, Gudrun Zapf von Hesse is one of the few women whose type designs are internationally known and used. Her first, Diotima Roman, was commissioned by the D. Stempel type foundry in 1951. In Plato's Symposium, Diotima of Mantinea was a Greek priestess and teacher of Socrates. She designed Shakespeare Roman, first used in 1968, for Hallmark Cards. Gudrun Zapf von Hesse's achievements were recognized in 1991 by the Frederic W. Goudy Award from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and with an exhibition, "Calligraphic Type Design in the Digital Age," held September-October 2001 at the San Francisco Public Library.

Specimen page of Diotima type
Gudrun Zapf von Hesse: Bindings, Handwritten Books...

Gudrun Zapf von Hesse: Bindings, Handwritten Books, Typefaces, Examples of Lettering, and Drawings, West New York, New Jersey: Mark Batty, 2002. Signed by the artist.
Graphic Arts Division

Other works in the exhibition:

  • Specimen alphabet of Diotima Roman, drafted by Nora Lin.


Princeton University Library, Graphic Arts Collection
Rebecca W. Davidson, Curator of Graphic Arts
Tel: (609) 258-3197
Last Modified: February 18, 2004