Among artists and designers, who were most important in your life? Who influenced you in a lasting way?
Hermann Zapf: Most of all, that would be Rudolf Koch, and the infinite pains and patience he devoted to writing and typeface design.
And which innovation or fashion of these last decades in particular do you think we would have been better without?
Hermann Zapf: The practice of copying typefaces. It has become so easy to copy a typeface, or failing that you can use the data from an existing one to make a new one without much effort. But where’s the creativity in that?
The quantum leaps in technology have probably had most impact of all on typographical development. You were among the first people to get into photocompos?ition and digitalisation – and you saw the potential, but also the challenges. What, in your eyes, was the most important single step here?
Hermann Zapf: For me, creating Zapfino was a big thing: the discovery that my handwriting with all its different outlines could be reproduced on the computer in a flowing, constantly changing »hand« really was, I think, a major milestone. My next development along these lines was Zapfino Ink, in which the letters have individual colour gradations, so that the text looks as if it has been written in ink with a fountain pen, because in a pen the ink flow is not constant. On this one we are technically still not quite there, but that too will be sorted quite soon.