Take the 2-minute tour ×
Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This seems like simple question... but I cannot track down any useful answers.

It's easy to find lots of fonts with "gothic" in their names. But what makes a font a "gothic" font?

share|improve this question
    
I see the answers have defined Gothic -- but see also myfonts.com/search/gothic/fonts which gives a completely different meaning to the term. –  Andrew Leach May 12 '12 at 16:33

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

They are based off actual scripture from the Gothic period in history. See this wonderful link by Project Gutenberg, Chapter 3 covers Gothic: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20590/20590-h/20590-h.htm

share|improve this answer
    
Excellent link. In an effort to make the Q & A more self-contained, I will accept this answer also answer my own question with a few quotes from the article. –  mdahlman May 11 '12 at 20:18

Ryan's suggested article really is excellent: LETTERS & LETTERING: A TREATISE WITH 200 EXAMPLES. Here are a few quotes to summarize the definition of "Gothic" fonts.

The name "Gothic" applies rather to the spirit than to the exact letter forms of the style. The same spirit of freedom and restlessness characterises the architecture of the period wherein this style of letter was developed; and Gothic letters are in many ways akin to the fundamental forms of Gothic architecture.

So... Gothic fonts can be recognized by their free and restless spirit.

medieval scribes used the Round Gothic as an easy and legible handwritten form, and linked many of the letters.

And Gothic fonts should all be legible, containing some interlinking forms.

In lieu of any detailed analysis of these letter shapes, it may perhaps be sufficient to say that they were wholly and exactly determined by the position of the quill, which was held rigidly upright, after the fashion already described in speaking of Roman lettering; and that the letters were always formed with a round swinging motion of hand and arm, as their forms and accented lines clearly evidence

Bracchial gyrations and erect quill posture appear to be critical factors as well.

But the best advice is to just look at the samples.

share|improve this answer
3  
"Bracchial Gyrations and Erect Quill Posture" sounds like the title of the third chapter of Keyboard Kinks: Your GUI Guide To Erotic Typesetting. –  Lauren Ipsum May 11 '12 at 23:47

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.