Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Blackletter History

The blackletter typeface (also called Old English, Gothic script, or Textura) is a script that was well used in Western Europe from the 12th to the 17th century. The Gutenberg Bible, the first book printed, used this typeface. Noticeable in the blackletter typeface is its dramatic thick and thin strokes and sometimes elaborate swirls. Major classifications of blackletter that are still used this time are Textura, Rotunda, Schwabacher, and Fraktur.

But because blackletter is difficult to read when printed, it became less popular in the 1500s. People and printers were using Roman and Italic faces as they were easier to read and print. Germany, though, continued to use blackletter until the 20th century.

Blackletter may be a less used typeface these days since it’s difficult to read in body text, but there are materials where they are best suited such as logos, posters, and headings. Notable examples of the use of blackletter are:



Album cover

Book cover

Beer labels

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing that. I never new that it was the Bible that was first printed book that used this typeface. The Old English typeface today is just used for special purposes like those mentioned above.