Black Letter

In typography, one of a wide variety of typefaces based on medieval script, commonly from thirteenth-century German writing. This style of type is also known as Spire-Gothic and Old English, and is characterized by dark, angular characters comprising thick and thin lines. This style of type is often used to set the nameplates of newspapers, such as the New York Times. A German-derived name for these designs is Fraktur (or "broken" in Latin), so-called because when medieval scribes switched from simple handwriting to the black letter style, the pen needed to be lifted off the page to make each stroke. Since these letters could not be created with one stroke, the writing flow was fractured, or broken.

Type set in black letter typefaces should never be all caps; as the capital letters are richly embellished, they become nearly indecipherable when formed into words.

These typefaces are also known as Textura, as they appear to produce a woven texture on the page.

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