TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Sat Jun 15 15:08:18 EDT 2019






Bastarda -- Schwabacher

Bastarda (Schwabacher in German) dominated printing in Europe in the last part of the 15th and the first part of the 16th centuries. It breaks with the heavy Textura that Gutenberg used in his first books and his bible. All of the Lutherian books were set in Schwabacher, which was nearer to handwriting. It was probably first used by Johannes Bäumler in Augsburg in 1472. In any case, it was in use in Nürnberg in 1485, and showed up in 1490 in Anton Koberger's Schedelsche Weltchronik and in 1498 in Albrecht Dürer's Apokalypse. Examples: a hand-drawn Schwabacher from 1489, a sample by Johann Schoeffer in Mainz, dated 1521, and a fancy title page. In the middle of the 16th century, it was displaced by fraktur as the most-used German typeface. German link. Characterized by the pointed o (both top and bottom), the Asian-looking "g", the Garamond-like "h" and the "A" that thinks it is a "U", it was rejuvenated in the 18th century by German foundries such as Genzsch and Heyse (Alte Schwabacher, 1835, and Neue Schwabacher, 1876) and Klingspor (Offenbacher Schwabacher, 1900), and type designers such as Ehmcke (1916) and Schneidler (1918) who all produced beautiful readable typefaces.

The French bâtarde (bastarda) became popular in France under the patronage of Jean, Duc de Berry, 1340-1416, and remained popular well into the 1600s. It is largely similar to Schwabacher although Schwabacher shows the (unreadable, U-like) open capital A that bâtarde avoids, as a rule.

There are many digital Schwabacher typefaces. See, e.g., Alte Schwabacher by Berthold, Alte Schwabacher by URW++, or Adobe's Duc de Berry, Bigelow's Lucida Blackletter, or P22's SchwarzKopfNew and SchwarzKopfOld.

Bastarda -- Schwabacher
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Blackletter fonts ⦿ German type scene ⦿ Bastarda / Bâtarde / Schwabacher ⦿ Textura ⦿

file name: Monotype Imaging Duc De Berry 2011

file name: Alte Schwabacher Genzsch Heyse 1835

file name: Neue Schwabacher

file name: Monotype Imaging Lucida Blackletter 2011

file name: Bigelow Holmes Lucida Blackletter 1991

file name: Charles Bigelow Kris Holmes Lucida Blackletter

file name: Schwabacher

file name: Schwabacher Druckschrift Johann Schoeffer Mainz 1521

file name: Schwabacher Handschrift 1489

Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html