The Oldtype "Wilhelm Klingspor Schrift" Font
Current Version: Under Development (Last Update: 2013.05.14) - Coming Soon
A comprehensive and faithful rendition of one of the finest and most impressive metal typefaces of the 20th century. Rudolf Koch designed Wilhelm Klingspor Schrift (initially conceived as "Missal Schrift", and later referred to also as "Wilhelm Klingspor Gotisch") between 1919 and 1925 for the Gebr. Klingspor Type Foundry in Offenbach am Main. In the words of renowned designer and design historian Paul Shaw, it is an extraordinary textura typeface, being both sharp and elegant, spiky and natty at the same time. It is the diametric opposite of the rough hewn Deutsche Schrift (1910), Koch's first blackletter. Its elegance is partially due to its delicate decoration, most notably the thin but subtly swelling lines that parallel or bridge strokes in the capitals. But it is also due to the hairline endings that terminate each stroke in both the capitals and the lowercase letters, to the subtle swelling of hairlines, to the subtle joining of hairlines to thicker strokes, and to the tension of some of the transitional curves.
Koch's original design included two sets of capitals (normal and condensed); alternates for a, d, e, r, s and z, plus long s; short and long decorative flourished finial forms for f and t; 35 ligatures; and several decorative elements (Zierstücke). All of these features, plus several additional ones for modern use, have been carefully implemented to the highest and most lively level of detail in the present font, in the hope that the past glory of Wilhelm Klingspor Schrift, with its large character set designed to accomplish justification following the tricks of the scribe (ligatures and narrow characters and the occasional extended finial character), will finally thrive in the modern OpenType world.
In addition to Paul Shaw's essay linked to above, the main sources used during the font design process were several pages from a specimen book issued by the Gebr. Klingspor Type Foundry in 1927 (some of which are re-created below using the Oldtype "Wilhelm Klingspor Schrift" Font). Other sources were as follows: Bain, P., and Shaw, P. (Eds.) (1998), Blackletter: Type and National Identity, New York: Princeton Architectural Press (p. 43); Hendlmeier, W. (1994), Kunstwerke der Schrift, Hannover: Bund für Deutsche Schrift und Sprache (pp. 56-7); Kapr, A. (1983), Schriftkunst, Dresden: VEB Verlag der Kunst (p. 453); Kapr, A. (1993), Fraktur - Form und Geschichte der gebrochenen Schriften, Mainz: Verlag Hermann Schmidt (pp. 124-5); and Klingspor, K. (1949), Über Schönheit von Schrift und Druck, Frankfurt am Main: Georg Kurt Schauer (pp. 136-7).
Selected high-resolution font sheets available for purchase at the Digital Press