Garamond for all

Today, the posterity of Garamond seems assured. There are endless versions of Garamond, including humourous ones like Pierre Di Sciullo's Gararond.

Will computerisation offer typography, which so long has been constrained by technical limitations, the infinite variety enjoyed by manuscripts?

At one time, designing a font represented a significant investment in terms of both money and time, but new technologies have lightened the burden considerably. For example, the Opentype system makes it easy to add ligatures and variant characters (such as in the recent Liza d’Underware, which has several variants for each letter that are selected at random during typesetting), a feature that type designers make full use of. The number of glyphs available per character is on the rise; often these surpass the requirements of users, offering them characters that they will probably never use.

By increasing the number of glyphs, is typography turning back towards calligraphy, to the irregularities of the page, to manuscripts? Does it represent a return to the world of the 15th century, when it was common to find several versions of the letter "a" in one's type case? Will this be a way to simulate a "handmade" appearance, something more prestigious than mere mechanical impression?

And what place will there be for the work of Claude Garamont?