BlackLetter Resources

daves666's picture


In my effort to ID a BlackLetter face, I discovered Amazing resource but somewhat chaotic. 2 questions:

1. Is this an actual type foundry with typefaces for sale or more of an academic compilation of faces?

2. Are there any other unique BlackLetter resources [small foundries, sites] out there that fans of BL faces should know about?


andreas's picture

Its not a foundry - its a painter who sells fonts. I take a closer look into the pdf cataloge - and the faces look very well shaped.

As you can see on the font proofs - he never had a feeling for type! - Do you believe this man has all types digitized by himself, drawing by hand?

He is not older than 40! Over 210 types made round about 11 type faces every year since his 20 birthday. Unbelievable - an anonymous genius.

But maybe I`m totally wrong.

johnbutler's picture

Vielen Dank Andreas!

Gerhard Helzel is indeed The Real Thing. As far as outline quality goes, Helzel, FVL and Delbanco all have clean, top-notch outlines on par with Adobe or Linotype.

Dieter Steffmann's outlines aren't quite as accurate, but he disclaims this up front and has a few designs unavailable elsewhere, particularly his lovely Wieynck fonts. As free fonts go, Steffmann does some decent work in terms of quality.

The problem with many of these German blackletter fonts is the different character encoding standards and compromises one has to deal with. Character placement is inconsistent across vendors. Linotype, Monotype and Adobe are good about sticking to their Dfr standard, but Dfr does not always cover all the ligatures and special characters that some of the smaller foundries supply. I hope to make some proposals to remedy this eventually... more on that to come.

I bought a few fonts from FVL in the past. Next on my list are several of Helzel's offerings--he can expect a large order from me in the coming weeks.

johnbutler's picture

[duplicate post; sorry]

andreas's picture

John, do you bought the fonts from Helzel?

What can you say about the quality?

johnbutler's picture

I have not purchased fonts from Helzel yet. I'm in the middle of moving into a new house in a different state right now. Later on I will be able to sit down, figure out which ones I must have first, and write an email in German. (It's been too long since I used my German.)

He added some new fonts in April and another one yesterday. He now has over 210 for sale.

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