Drake proves shining light to type pirates

“It is high time to establish a Sir Francis Drake Society. A contemporary of Claude Garamond, Sir Francis Drake lived from 1540 to 1596. He already has many devoted followers and admirers in the graphics industry. Large software companies and type designers in the digital area will welcome Sir Francis Drake as their patron. In 1581 Queen Elizabeth knighted him for his achievements and later he was elected member of the Parliament.

“Let’s bring Sir Francis Drake’s life back to the minds of those not familiar with his daring deeds. In the sixteenth century, Drake was a relentless pirate who took hold of everything he desired. Aren’t we – living in the twentieth century – confronted with similar actions in the field of type design owing to the fact that type designers in all countries suffer from a lack of copyright protection for their work and their property? There are a number of pirates raising the Jolly Roger everywhere, but when ashore they attend large-scale conferences where they claim to devote themselves to the colors of honorable shipping comrades.”

The two aforementioned paragraphs commenced an article written by Hermann Zapf which appeared in Calligraphy Review, Vol IX No 1 1994.

It is high time the graphic design industry started to take this matter seriously. As Zapf wrote: “In a few years we will have a complete bastardisation.”

Designers will not be inclined to waste their time producing good quality work only for others to copy ad lib.

Les J Curtis




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