What Is Gothic Lettering?

Gothic lettering, also known as a font or typeface, is a popular style of lettering for many artistic projects and other uses. It is prominently featured in many computer operating systems, and most print shops offer it as a printing option. Although the definition of Gothic lettering can be difficult to explain due to differing perspectives on the font, some basic facts can demonstrate how this group of typefaces came to be known as Gothic lettering.

Many experts define Gothic lettering as a type of script used in various parts of Western Europe from around the middle of the 1100s to the early eighteenth century – the lettering represented an element of Gothic culture throughout the centuries, which was related to Germanic tribal groups who lived in Western Europe. As a result, some calligraphy and typeface experts refer to Gothic scripts as neither Roman nor Greek scripts.

The fact that Gothic lettering is “sans serif” is a common feature. This goes back to the idea that Gothic lettering was used other cultural groups during the time period, not just the Romans. Gothic lettering was said to be without serifs, or “sans serif” in the Anglicized French form, where Roman lettering included the serif, an additional stroke at the base or in other areas of a printed letter. It’s also referred to as “block printing.”

It’s a good idea to research the specific cultural groups known as Goths and their role in the development of Europe to understand the origins of Gothic lettering. Readers can also learn more about Gothic lettering looking at examples of it in books and publications from the eras in which it was used, particularly in the German language. Fraktur, a Germanic art form in which a specific style of ornate calligraphy is combined with detailed drawings, is an example of this. On German forms such as wedding certificates and other documents, this style of art was popular.

The example of fraktur is a good one because the ornate quality of many forms of Gothic or “Goth” lettering today distinguishes them from others. Many prominent Gothic types of lettering have a level of detail that appeals to the eye in addition to being sans serif. Gothic lettering, as one of the more ornate forms of fonts available in modern printing, offers a more eye-catching alternative to most other types of lettering.