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Subject: Re: Nazi/pre-Nazi era German fonts
From: andy crewdson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Discussion of Type and Typographic Design <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 5 Mar 2000 13:53:25 -0800
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At 03:51 PM 3/5/00 -0500, you wrote:
>Hi folks!
>
>I seem to recall some discussion here previously concerning blackletter
>fonts being "banned" in Nazi-era Germany. Could someone explain this for me
>again? It seems odd, because I've seen MANY things -- including things
>published by the Nazi party -- that use blackletter (even as a text font!).

Well, sometime in the early '40s the Nazis decided to ban blackletter. They
drew up a ridiculous memo about how Schwabacher was Jewish (or something, I
forget) and tried to use this as justification. I think the motivation was
actually that they realised blackletter was not modern/universal enough for
an empire which wanted world domination, so they figured they better use
roman/antiqua. I reccomend the Shaw/Bain book "Blackletter: Type & National
Identity" for good discussion of all of this.

Also, as for appropriate pre-war type, I think certainly you can use things
besides blackletter. Roman type was used in Germany quite a lot then, not
just blackletter. And I don't know if this is appropriate to the films, but
if they are of the '20s or '30s, maybe you'd want to use some type
evocative of the Weimar/bauhaus/modernist movement (so, Futura or Erbar I
guess). Of course, those types aren't really associated with Germany by the
average person the way blackletter is...

Andy

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