I am trying to figure out what font inspired this old Pierre Balmain logo and I'm having trouble finding this font. Can anyone help?

1 Answer 1


The group name for this type of fonts can be called and googled as "engraved".

Studying the font in question I have found that font is very similar to Smaragd designed by wife of Hermann Zapf - Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse in 1953 and in book by Zapf named as Emerald font.

Both designers updated their fonts after 1957 when phototypesetting was introduced and old versions of their fonts became deprecated.

Pierre Balmain opened his fashion house in 1945 (first collection) and probably the logo was inspired by the old version of the Smaragd font which had M letter other than in newest version.

Considering aforementioned fact, we can assume that the font in logo was inspired by older (and probably depricated) version of Smaragd font, this is why we cannot find the exact match in our databases.


enter image description here

  • When a 'free font' site lists a font with the same name and apparently letter design as a commercial font, odds are it may be a rip-off. It's not necessarily a rip-off, but it's probably best to link to the commercial version: myfonts.com/fonts/linotype/smaragd
    – DA01
    Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 21:10
  • Also, while this is certainly 'in the ballpark' there are many differences (Apex of the A, the flared stems, the thick/thin contrast). Odds are the original logo was custom lettering.
    – DA01
    Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 21:11
  • 1
    The free font is indeed a ripoff of an Adobe/Linotype font. It still has the copyright information in the TTF file! Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 22:49
  • @AndrewLeach good catch! I'll update the answer to link to the original Linotype typeface.
    – DA01
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 18:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.