I have a fascination with art and design history, specifically in Europe. I wanted to research what art and design looked like during the European Renaissance.
During the research process, I came across blackletter script and its usage in text, specifically in the Gutenberg Bible. I discovered that blackletter came about during the Middle Ages and remained prevalent through the 16th century.
Today, it seems as though there are constantly new design trends that designers must keep up with to stay relevant.
Are these beautiful, historical designs just forgotten and not usable anymore because they don’t follow modern trends?
Looking back at historical designs can be one way to learn about history and its relevance to the modern design world.
Reimagining blackletter script in the modern world can create a design that is luxurious and accessible.
My response was to design a typeface to bring forward historical design elements, pulling designers back into the roots of typography but with a modern take. The typeface would be luxurious yet accessible with undertones of traditional blackletter script.
I took the typeface DTL Flamande as the core inspiration for my typeface design. This version by Matthew Carter’s is so beautiful that I wanted to further investigate this typeface and bring it into the modern world.
why dtl flamande?
- I enjoyed the roundness of the uppercase in contrast to the condensed lowercase.
- I liked the ratio of x-height, cap height, and ascender/descender height.
- I like the usability of it how one can fit a lot of characters on a page.
I used the typeface Myriad for a modern reference designed by Robert Slimbach and Carol Twombly because it is accessable and legible.
I iterated upon different letters to see which characters fit into the system that I was creating.
I returned to previous iterations to find the perfect design. My original intention was for the typeface to be legible, minimal decoration aids in this effect
high fidelity sketch
final typeface, vala