I suppose I’m known to be a bit of a type junkie.I admit it is a bit of a problem. Nonetheless, I must confess I am not a steeped in the vagaries of blackletter as I could be. Given this, I am more than pleased to see Dan Reynolds latest piece for I Love Typography (ILT) entitled The library of the Gutenberg Museum. Mr Reynolds provides that following classifications for blackletter faces:
The basic blackletter styles—Textura, Rotunda, Bastarda, Fraktur, and “Experimental.” While many contemporary designs fall under the lattermost category, classical revivals are still being undertaken across the blackletter spectrum. Understanding classification schemes can be the key to choosing the right typeface. For example, a German Fraktur would be a poor choice for an English Pub, while almost any style could look right on a certificate, depending on its overall design. Old English, & Gotisch designs are further evolutions of the Textura idea. Gotisch (gothic) alone has several styles… from the Romanticist Fette Gotisch (pictured) to the so-called “jackboot grotesques” of the 1930s (not pictured). Schwabacher is a style of Bastarda that has been traditionally used in Germany. Indeed, Fraktur itself could even be classified as another Bastarda, but I have given it its own category, because it became the most-widely used blackletter text style in German typography. Evolving out of late medieval and early renaissance handwriting, the various blackletter styles also influenced each other over time. Another Bastarda gené, Civilité, was common in late 16th century printing in France & the Low Countries—not areas one would call “German.”
I appreciate the conciseness of this primer. This blackletter primer is only a small part of the excellent article. He also covers the library of the Gutenberg Museum (which I have to visit the next time I make it to Mainz). All told, and excellent read.