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Subject: Fraktur Uber Alles Baby
From: Hrant H Papazian <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Discussion of Type and Typographic Design <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 18 Feb 2001 09:15:57 -0800
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"Rolf F. Rehe" wrote:
> Dick Weltz has repeatedly pointed out that many Jewish
> people associate Blackletter/Frakrur with the Nazis
> and one can only respect that.

And it's not just Jews. On the flip side, another group of
people who associate blackletter with facism is neo-Nazis.

I totally agree that the negative connotation is unfortunate.
Why? Because not only does Fraktur have a unique aesthetic
that would be great to take advantage of, but also:

> its legibility, were it to be used for text, is low.

On the contrary, my friend! As I tried to show in Leipzig,
Fraktur is inherently *more* legible than our conventional
"whiteletter"! If somebody were to make a Fraktur of not
too dark color, and conventional caps, and then actually
use it to publish a work (see end), we might be surprised
at the results.

http://www.themicrofoundry.com/ss_fraktur1.html

In terms of readability, there is admittedly the issue
of the contemporary lack of familiarity, but I've come to
the conclusion that familiarity is a quickly passing obstacle.

I'm convinced that it doesn't take long (maybe a couple
of hours) for an individual to get used to a given typeface,
but that's when its *inherent* degree of readability starts to
kick in. However, when you collect these adaptable individuals
into a group (ie society), other negative forces come into play,
and the overall is much less adaptable than the individuals:
it's much harder to get society used to Fraktur that it is
to get an individual used to it.

The problem is how to put the right public spin on a
Fraktur revival effort, to thwart the unfair negativity.
For example, perhaps the ideal place to attempt a Fraktur
revival would be an anti-Nazi novel or documentary, with
a colophon explaining that Fraktur was just another victim
of the regime, and it deserves to shed its scarlet letter.

hhp

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