Schriftgiesserei Emil Gursch

December 5, 2004

Schriftgiesserei Emil Gursch


German foundry based in Berlin, active from before 1899 until after 1913. Fonts published include Koenig-Type (1903, Heinz König), Koenig Schwabacher (1913, Heinz König), Koenig-Fraktur (1910, Heinz König. This is also called Gursch Fraktur), Alt-Gotisch mager & halbfett, Industria (1913), Polygon Undine (1904), Fette Gloria Kursiv (1904), Britannia-Versalien (1902). There were also numerous ornaments and vignettes. Published documents include Industria, eine charaktervolle Reklame-Grotesk (1913), Polygon-Undine. Fette Gloria-Kursiv (1904), Nachtrag zur Handprobe. Neue Erzeugnisse aus den Jahren 1898-1901 (1902), Munster-Sammlung der Schriftgiesserei Emil Gursch, Berlin S., Messinglinien-Fabrik und Gravir-Anstalt (1899). That last book is their main publaction, 112 pages of nicely presented specimens covering all lettertypes and ornaments in detail. Their blackletter collection included Fraktur No.4 through No.8, Schwabacher, Fette Schwabacher (1899), Halbfette and Moderne schmale halbfette Fraktur, Schmale Fette Zeitungs-Fraktur, Fette Fraktur, Gothisch (schmale enge, Courante and Accidenz), Renaissance Gothisch (magere and halbfette), Fette Gothisch (neueste and breite), Breite Kanzlei, Moderne halbfette Kanzlei, Antike Kanzlei (wow!), Altgothisch (1899) and Altgothische initialen. Other series include Antiqua No. 2 through 9, Mediaeval, Cursiv, Mediaeval Cursiv, Grotesque, Egyptienne, Zierschrift Roma, Zierschrift Apollo, Zierschrift Gloria, Versierte Italienne, Elzevir, Phönix-Cursiv (1899), Bambus Grotesque (1899), Hermes Grotesque (1899), Flächer Ornamente (1899), Dekorative Vignetten (1899), Rundschrift, Moderne Schreibschrift, Accidenz-Versierungen, Saxonia Einfassung (borders), Gothische Federzüge, Schwarze Hände, and many great math and astrological sets.

Specimen book

This is one of those good old companies that made tons of fantastic type specimen books. The one I perused for these pages was "Schriftgiesserei Emil Gursch Berlin: Gesamtprobe Schriften Ornamente Vignetten Messinglinien" (488 pages).


I want to start a movement to bring the ornamental lines back...


There are tens of pages with symbols for all applications. The astroloigical and meteorological symbols are in every major type compendium. Also check out Gursch's chess symbols and crowns.



Altgotische Initialen

Schreibschrift Senefelder

One of the original calligraphic scripts.

Other scripts

There is a huge selection of scripts, all more or less formal. The first one below is called Korone. The next one is along the lines of what was taught in schools and is called Deutsche Briefschrift.

Blackletter faces

The blackletter faces in the specimen book include Antika Kanzlei, Brink Kanzlei, and halbfette Renaissance Gotisch.

Happy holidays

Here are Gursch's Christmas and Newyear's wishes.

Luc Devroye
School of Computer Science
McGill University
Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6