fonts for old German handwriting scripts

sstiller's picture

Does anyone know of any high-quality fonts exemplifying the two styles of German handwriting known as "deutsche Kurrentschrift" and "Sütterlin(schrift)"?

They are depicted in columns 2 ("Kurrent") and 3 ("Sütterlin") here. (On the right one can click oneself through to see the letters H-Z as well.)

I tried the fonts "1880 Kurrentshrift Normal" [misspelled!] and "Suetterlin" from MyFonts.com, but these fonts turned out to not quite be what I expected: Upon closer inspection, the connections between letters are not perfectly continuous or not even correct (for example, the d-e connection, which ought to appear as shown here). (I inspected the OpenType versions of these fonts, and OpenType is powerful enough a format to have such issues addressed correctly. So an expert I asked suggested that OpenType might have been used merely as a wrapper for a simpler format in these cases. In any case, these fonts are not satisfactory.) Then, another free font I found on the web doesn't have the long-s/short-s (ſ/s) distinction that is required in these styles of writing.

I am looking for a professional font that gets all these things right.

riccard0's picture

You should use the Edit link to move the thread to the Type ID Board or General Discussions section of the forum.

Florian Hardwig's picture

Your best bet might be Delbanco. See the section ‘Deutsche Schreibschrift’. Romana Hamburg has a Deutsche Schreibschrift, too. I can’t vouch for the quality, though, as I haven’t tested their fonts.

Renko's picture

Waldenfonts has Großvater Kurrent, Kurrent Kupferstich and Sütterlin. Don’t know about the quality.

sstiller's picture

Many thanks for all replies!

I have checked all pointers. Without wanting to name specific foundries, I found that all fonts I have seen have one or more of the following issues:

  • Short-s characters are rendered as long-s glyphs; there is no long-short s distinction.
  • The fonts are designed to avoid the high-low connector distinction. I would certainly like to see a font that makes such a distinction (pay attention to the connection after "b"/"d"/"r"/"t").
  • The letter connections aren't perfectly smooth. Seemingly all fonts I looked at suffered from this problem, so I guess this really is hard to solve.
  • Kerning isn't always quite right.
  • The fonts are Type 1 fonts (instead of for instance OpenType) with a homemade encoding.

    If a font got only the latter two points not right, I'd take it, but each font I explored suffered from at least one of the first two points.

    In summary, none of the fonts I explored were to my satisfaction. Nonetheless thanks for your help! I think handwriting fonts are especially tricky to get right.

  • Florian Hardwig's picture

    Thanks for the feedback. This confirms my expectations/suspicions. However, most of the fonts that I looked at do at least offer glyphs both for the long and the short s, and the inclusion of a set of ligatures is common as well. You have to input the exceptions manually, or rely on some converter. The problem is that these alternates are not properly encoded and not accessible via OpenType features. I guess this genre is just too obscure and unprofitable to attract the attention of professional typeface designers.

    sstiller's picture

    Only one font of those I seriously investigated seemed to not offer a long-short s distinction. Either way, I agree with what you're saying.

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