Type specimen: Sabon
Sabon display with alphabet and special characters in standard, italics and bold
Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek Leipzig


A uniform typeface for all systems

At the beginning of the 1960s, efforts were made to find a typeface that was suitable both for Linotype and Monotype typesetting machines and could also be used in manual typesetting. The objective was not a completely new typeface but a printing type that was fully interchangeable and combinable in all three typesetting systems. The Stempel type foundry commissioned the Swiss typographer and book designer Jan Tschichold to create just such a design.

Tschichold developed an Antiqua and named it for the punchcutter and type founder Jakob Sabon (1535-1590). From a formal standpoint, Sabon follows in the tradition of Claude Garamond’s Renaissance Antiqua. It is functionally and technically well-suited to all printing processes, a wide range of paper types and high printing speeds.