A Barrel of Blackletters
Blackletter is arguably the most beautiful and ornate style of calligraphy. While there are several sites on the Internet offering shareware and freeware blackletter fonts, it's often hard to keep track of and keep up with all the higher quality commercial designs available. This page hopes to achieve just that. Since several old blackletter designs are available from different vendors, we've gathered what we consider to be the most genuine, full-featured versions in this page. You generally get what you pay for. So please, browse through the selections of several fine foundries, and tell them that Eccentrifuge sent you!

Foundries specializing in Blackletter

Dipl.-Ing. Gerhard Helzel has the most exhaustive selection of blackletter designs available, all of which include all the necessary ligatures for setting German in blackletter (long s and a dozen or so ligatures.) Some also include a half-r. Prices range from €15 to €115 per weight. Download his PDF specimen. I think he has also done some work for Delbanco Frakturschriften.

FVL GbR is yet another source. They have the smaller optical sizes of Wilhelm Klingspor-Schrift available, as well as the narrow caps and extra ligatures and swashes, plus some other designs unavailable elsewhere.

Blackletters by style

Early Gothic, Kurrent, Civilité and Notula

This face is based on early gothic lettering. Designed by Herbert Maring for Linotype in 1991.

Francesca Gothic
This lettering appears to be an early gothic lowercase paired with some Lombardic capitals with delicate, elongated serifs. No designer info available. From Agfa Monotype.

St. Augustin Civilité
This design, digitized by Jonathan Hoefler, is part of HTF's Historical Allsorts collection. Its character set contains numerous alternates and flourishes. Its package combines it with three styles of the Fell Types, English Textura (see below), and Great Primer Uncials. This is arguably the best digital Civilité available.

Bastarda and Batârde

Duc de Berry
A design by Gottfried Pott for Linotype in 1990, this most closely resembles a French Bastarda. This font is widely used and pirated, but few people know its name or history.

This appears to be a bastarda. Available from Agfa Monotype. No designer information available on their site.


San Marco
An elegant, simple rotunda designed by Karlgeorg Hoefer in 1991 for Linotype Library GmbH. Very distinctive J,K,S, and Z. Paratype has a Cyrillic version.

Clemente Rotunda
An incredible rotunda design available from Agfa Monotype. No designer info is available at their site, but I know this is a recent (<10 years) addition.

A lighter Rotunda design by Jürgen Brinckmann for FontFont, included in the FF Scribe Type 2 package.

From what little I can tell, this is a rotunda. You can get it from ForDesigners.com. Any further information about this font would be much appreciated!


A beautiful David Quay design, originally for Letraset, now available from ITC. Nice hackles on the caps. Expensive but worth it, it also features flourishes for some of the lowercase.

Another David Quay design, also from Letraset, this design combines a textura lowercase with Lombardic-inspired capitals and thicker hairlines for a dark, inky look.

FF BrokenScript Bold
A unique and readable textura designed by Just van Rossum for FontShop. In four weights: bold, bold rough, condensed, and condensed rough. The only place I've ever seen it used was in the Guy Ritchie film Snatch, where it was used for the subtitles when Boris the Blade was talking on the phone in Russian. What blackletter has to do with Russian is something only Guy Ritchie could answer, but it was nice to see this underused font get some billing nonetheless.

This appears to be a rather recent offering from Agfa Monotype. This is an ornate, florid design. Too bad there's no designer info available.

Fette Gotisch EF
An excellent excecution of this stunning design, by Elsner & Flake. No original designer is specified, as this typeface was a popular "house cut" with all the old foundries. This can be a suitable and striking alternative to the more ubiquitous Fette Fraktur in many situations. Fette Gotisch was often used in text sizes for chapter and section headings in books whose text was set in Fraktur. Available from Linotype Library GmbH.

English Textura
This design, digitized by Jonathan Hoefler, is part of HTF's Historical Allsorts collection. Its character set contains a number of Latin ligatures and a separate set of Lombardic capitals. Its package combines it with three styles of the Fell Types and Granjon's Civilité.

This is a brand new design by Miles Newlyn. It has two sets of caps. It's very unique, and contains elements reminescent of both Rudolph Koch's and Lucian Bernhard's blackletter designs.

Goudy Text
A Monotype classic. This is a Textura Precissus, or flat-footed Textura, designed by Frederick Goudy in the early half of the 20th century. It features alternate characters and a full set of Lombardic capitals. The most popular version is available from Agfa Monotype. Another version which is based more on Goudy's original drawings is available from Castle Type.

FF Johannes G
This is Manfred Klein's execution of Gutenberg's original B42 type for FontShop. I don't know if this version contains all 270 or so letter variants that were in the original. Part of the FF Scribe Type package.

I believe this is based on Neptun. I believe Lucian Bernhard designed Neptun... it's a nice dark textura with Bernhard's characteristic low X-height. From Fontosaurus.

Linotext is Linotype's cut of ATF's Wedding Text, designed by Morris Fuller Benton in 1901. Bitstream has a "Wedding Text" of its own, which is based on a more condensed cut. This font is not too heavily used, and has charming descenders on the h and y.

Monogram English
This is a very recent "verschnorkelte" textura design from Letterhead Fonts. All of their designs are exceptionally clean and polished.

Notre Dame
Notre Dame is an exquisite and underused Textura Quadrata design with beautifully hackled capitals. It also includes a set of type ornaments whose stroke modulation harmonizes perfectly with the text font, and some of them can be used as flourishes for initial or final letters. Its lowercase is incredibly thin, like Goudy Text.

Old Blackletter
Another Letterhead Fonts design by Mike Stowe. Also check out the Lombardic caps in their Henderson Church Text font.

This is a brand new design from Frantisek Storm. It combines the chassis of a textura precissus with Neo-Classical ground effects. It features support for Central European character sets and a delicious smattering of ornaments. I highly recommend it.

Available from fordesigners.com, this is an ornamental Art Nouveau textura with heavy horizontal stress. Any further info would be appreciated!

Wilhelm Klingspor Gotisch
This is Linotype's version of Wilhelm Klingspor Schrift, designed by Rudolf Koch in 1925. This is arguably one of the top five textura designs ever sold... most blackletter enthusiasts, myself included, put Koch at the top of the pantheon. Linotype's cut is based on the larger sizes of the original; Delbanco's version is less ornate, being based on a smaller master. Unfortunately, Linotype's version doesn't include the second set of more condensed capitals, the exteded ligatures, or the ornaments. Hopefully that will change sometime in the future. In the meantime, you can complement Linotype's version with the extras available in this version from the Bund für Deutsche Schrift und Sprache.


Alte Schwabacher
By Elsner & Flake. Available from Linotype Library GmbH. Based on very old and fairly uniform schwabacher designs.

An unusual Schwabacher available from ForDesigners.com. No designer info available.


Antorff Fraktur
This is a nice rounded Fraktur design by Roger Vershen of Page Studio Graphics. Its package includes a separate fraction font with the components to build old-style slash fractions of an arbitrary size.

This is Frantisek Storm's "Transcription" of Frühling, a gorgeous light fraktur designed by Rudolph Koch, and incidentally my favorite Fraktur. I used this on my wedding invitations and got a deluge of inquiries. Storm takes Koch's design further by adding a bold weight and support for Central European characters. The package also comes with a text version with thicker hairlines for legibility at smaller sizes.

Euclid Fraktur
A nice legible Fraktur from Design Science, vendors of MathType, a suite of fonts and tools for setting beautiful mathematical text. Its design is clean, yet it exhibits subtle characteristics that are the mark of a master calligrapher. The bold weight is even better.

Fette Fraktur
This is Linotype's house cut of this ubiquitous ultra-dark Fraktur. There are many different versions of it floating around, but Linotype's DFR version, by virtue of its standard DFR ligature complement, is probably the best.

Fraktur BT
This is Bitstream's only Fraktur, so they made it count... an excellent design.

A simple blackletter design from Letterhead Fonts. This one is hard to classify, but it's sorta close to Fraktur. It has a very han-drawn look, but like the rest of Letterhead's fonts, its design is nice and clean.

Hoyerswerda Fraktur
An interesting fraktur package available from Agfa Monotype. No designer info available.

EF Justus Fraktur
Another great Elsner+Flake design, complemented by a bold weight.

FF Koberger
Another historic design resurrected by Manfred Klein for FontShop. Ornate caps, long ascenders and descenders, and low x-height distinguish this charming proto-fraktur. Part of the FF Scribe Type package.

Linotype Luthersche Fraktur
This is Linotype's recutting of one of Martin Luther's original frakturs. The designer is not named.

Neue Luthersche Fraktur
Elsner+Flake's take on this classic design.

Poppl Fraktur
A beautifully drawn fraktur by legendary Berthold designer Friedrich Poppl.

FF Schoensberger
Another historic design resurrected by Manfred Klein for FontShop. I believe this particular font is related to type used in Luther's Bible, the first German translation of the Holy Book. Part of the FF Scribe Type package.

Square Text
An ornate Kanzlei from MatchFonts.

Unger Fraktur
This is Berthold's version of this unusual Fraktur first designed by Johann Friedrich Unger to harmonize with Firmin Didot's Roman, the first "modern" serif design.

Walbaum Fraktur
Another timeless design offered by Elsner+Flake. With nice pronounced contrast, this design can stand up to the demands of text setting.

Modern Twists & Hybrids

Jonathan Barnbrook describes Bastard as "a font for corporate fascists." While Nazi-era constructivist Schaftstiefelgrotesks like Tannenberg, Element and Deutschland were built only from paralellograms, this design also incorporates some circular arcs, although its essentially geometric character remains intact. It comes in three weights: Spindly, Fat, and Even Fatter.

Linotype Auferstehung
Designed by Johannes Plass for Linotype in 1997. A stylized textura made of round-capped monoline strokes.

This is a modern design modeled loosely after textura lettering. It is uniquely legible at small sizes because of its width, and seems incredibly underused. An outstanding design by Hans-Jürgen Ellenberger in 1994 for Linotype.

A*I Frakt Konstrukt
A decorative set of initials by Manfred Klein, most of which resemble Fraktur. Capitals only. From Alphabets*Inc.

BB KiddingKid EF
A digitally manipulated Fraktur design from Elsner & Flake. Designed by Günther Flake, 1994.

An interesting T26 font designed by Rian Hughes. Check out the Ms and Ws. In two weights.

A hybrid of a bold Grotesque and a dark Textura, similar but superior to ITC Honda. Designed by Milo Ivir in 1997 for Linotype Library.

Linotype Irish Text
I made a decision not to include uncials in this reference, but this exception deserves to be included. It's a delightful uncial with the rhythm of a Textura. Designed by Torsten Weisheit in 1997.

A*I JessicaPlus
A Textura lowercase with Roman caps, a-la Rudolph Koch's Peter Jessen-Schrift. By Manfred Klein of Alphabets*Inc.

A*I Quasimodo
A ragged-looking textura by Manfred Klein of Alphabets*Inc. The letters are reminescent of Gutenberg's original B42 type. From Alphabets*Inc.

Sabbath Black
A skeletal-looking textura that Miles Newlyn did for Emigre in 1992. In regular and heavy.

Linotype Sangue
A gorgeous and haunting Fraktur design by Gabriele Laubinger in 1997 for Linotype Library GmbH. The lowercase are about one-fourth as wide as the caps. Anorexic Gruftis would be proud to have this font tatooed all over them. In my opinion, this is one of the most imaginative blackletter designs to arrive in recent years, worthy of any collection.

A lovely design by Gareth Hague somewhere between a geometric sans and a fraktur. Available from T26.

Totally Gothic
Zuzana Licko's "20th century interpretation of the blackletter style." It has a companion font, Totally Glyphic. You can set this at text sizes and achieve a remarkable blackletter texture.

Wexford Oakley
This is Rian Hughes' geometric approach to a blackletter. It's hard to classify the lowercase, but the uppercase hints at an "Old English" textura. Very well executed. It's available from Rian Hughes' own site.