exemplar fonts of some non-Latin styles

Amado's picture

I'm trying to get a better idea of the characteristics of some of the less-commonly-seen letter-types. Could you direct me to some fonts that exemplify the difference between:

* a "Textura"
* a "Gotisch"
* a "Fraktur"
* a "Bastarda"
* a "Schwabacher"
* a "Rotunda"
* (bonus) an "Uncial"

I'm becoming mildly fascinated with faces that use non-Latin letterforms, particularly if they have some historical usage precedence. I know there must be lots of research and documentation out there about this. Can you give me half-a-dozen things to look at so I can start to see the distinctions?

(Some things that tempted me down this rabbit-hole: Rieven Uncial, Dark Angel, Mason. What the hell is Mason?!?)

Nick Shinn's picture

Strictly speaking, these are actually Latin script (writing system) genres.

This shows the remarkable diversity within the fraktur/blackletter gerne:

Amado's picture

A book? Those things only have one author!


Thx, both, for the solid suggestions.

hrant's picture

Touché! :-)


Amado's picture

Well, it only took nearly two years.

I still wonder, though, whether there's an on-line resource where I can at least see a "family tree" of names of styles within the "Latin script writing system genres". Other than Wikipedia, which I didn't find helpful.

I just came across something called "Lombardic" for example, and a search on Identifont and MyFonts turns up a variety of Lombardic-y caps married with fraktur lowercase, uncial lowercase, what-have-you. I take it that that's an artifact of the whole upper/lower case thing being a relatively recent development.

A search on "bastarda" turns up enough of a variety of results that I can't tell which aspects are hallmarks of the genre and which are artifacts of trying to cram these historical styles into modern-day conceptions of alphabets.

If books it is, books it is. They look like excellent books.

hrant's picture

I've seen at least two such family trees (gotta find 'em...) although they're based on handwriting.


quadibloc's picture

Since Googling "bastarda" turns up, for you, a bunch of modern typefaces without context, a book on the history of typography would definitely help you to achieve an organized understanding, since one of the first things you would find in one is historical examples of the various categories of typeface.

Updike's Printing Types is available for free download, and it's not a bad place to start.

Anatomy of a Typeface by Alexander Lawson, and An Atlas of Typefaces, by James Sutton and Alan Bertram (which was recently reprinted, and the reprint was remaindered, so copies should be inexpensively available) are additional helpful references.

Amado's picture

Wow, okay, Updike's book is amazing. I can't claim that my understanding is better and more neatly categorized. But it's certainly deeper. Categorization may (or may not) happen as I view more and more of the typefaces I see with this new (and as yet incomplete) understanding.

Fraktur Mon Amor is on my wish-list now.

I still want to know where the hell we got Mason (http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/emigre/mason-ot/) from. I think I can start to see the history of Andron 2 (http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/andreas-stotzner/andron-2/ , which I find increasingly charming), though.

Y'all are awesome.

quadibloc's picture

We probably got Mason from the same place we got Newcomen or L'Elf Noir du Mal or Celtic Garamond the 2nd - posters for horror movies followed by lettering styles evocative of the Goth look.

So one mixes in alchemical and religious symbols with the forms of the alphabet.

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