Adobe Warnock

A quote from the Adobe Warnock specimenA quote from the Adobe Warnock specimen

In the summer of 2019, I sent the following as a post scriptum to the translator, during our planning stage communication for the book we were working on:


I’d love to share the history of the typeface we’ll be using for your book. It’s going to be the first CMP book set in sharp Warnock, a truly original text design (published in 2000) by master Robert Slimbach. The face was born as a tribute to computer scientist John Warnock.

In 1978, Warnock went to Xerox PARC where he spent four years working in the Computer Sciences Laboratory. While at Xerox PARC, Warnock worked on improving the typographic quality of computer gray-scale displays. In 1982, John Warnock and Charles Geshchke formed Adobe Systems, Inc., to develop software that integrates text and graphics and that is output device agnostic or independent. Their effort resulted in PostScript, Adobe System’s first product.

When asked if he considered computer science a science, Warnock answered: “No, not really. It’s more of an engineering discipline; a very good, fruitful engineering discipline. To me, science is postulating hypotheses and doing experiments to create models in the world. Computers have nothing to do with that. They are self-fulfilling prophecies about a model of the world. They’re great information tools; they’re great artifacts of the society for manipulating and controlling information. But I don’t know what truth computer science is trying to learn.”

Robert Slimbach, who joined Adobe in 1987, began working seriously on type and calligraphy four years earlier. Since then, Slimbach has concentrated primarily on designing digital text faces, drawing inspiration from classical sources while utilizing state-of-the-art typeface technology. He has designed great typeface families including Adobe Garamond (we use), Adobe Jenson (house typeface), Kepler, Cronos, Minion, and Warnock.