A native of Paris, Garamond was an engraver and letter founder of high repute. He was regarded as the best typecutter of his day. He was commissioned by King Francis First of France to make a new cast of type for his own exclusive use, now known as Grecs du Roi.
Garamond was the first to produce a reworking of the earlier typefaces of Aldus Manutius, creating a face called Garamond. This small roman type became the standard European type of the day and was still in use in the 18th century. During most of the 20th century, most leading foundries around the world have redrawn their own versions of Garamond's typeface, and Garamond's roman is still regarded today as one of the classic typefaces.