Tuesday, 4 November 2008

The History of a Font: Fette Fraktur

1Fette Fraktur is a Blackletter typeface derived from an original Fraktur typeface. The word Fette is a German word and means bold in English, and makes the English equivalent of this font, Bold Fraktur. This evolution of the Fraktur font was not used much for text purposes but for advertisements. 2The Fette Fraktur was originally released sometime before 1842 by the Joh.Peter Nees Company in Offenbach, Germany. Blackletter typefaces, also know as Gothic scripts, were used mainly in Germany well into the 1900’s for the German language. 3Another commonly used Blackletter typefaces is Textura, which was used in the first ever Bible. There is also Bastarda and Rotunda faces.

The typeface was typically used for books and newspapers during the Third Reich, where it was preferred in favour of sans-serif faces. The approved use of Fette Fraktur by the Nazi regime continued until January 3rd, 1941. A man named Martin Bormann, who was the director of the Party Chancellery , issued a direct discontinuation of the Fette Fraktur typeface. This was due to the alleged involvement of a Jew in the early development of the face. During World War II the German Allies also banned the font due to its illegibility, as the troops struggled to read it.

To this day it is one of the most commonly used Blackletter faces and continues to be used in advertising and packaging to communicate a sense of traditionalism in places such as Austria, Bavaria and Germany. The Fette Fraktur font has been confused for the Blackletter script often mislabelled as Old English script, and is now very popular in the world of Hip-hop music and fashion.


  1. Fette Fraktur, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fette_Fraktur, Accessed on 04/11/2008
  2. Fette Fraktur, http://typophile.com/node/12986, Accessed on 04/11/2008
  3. Fette FrakturTM Regular, http://www.linotype.com/12851/fettefrakturregular-font.html, Accessed on 04/11/2008


Sam said...

Greetings. Pretty good. I mentioned the Nazi regime as well. Didn't know if I should have but I suppose its part of its history.

Martyn Wise said...

Bet you can't say Fette Fraktur quickly five times after five pints! Interesting read showing good research which is well presented although it could have benefited further from a visual link showing the use of the font today from the world of music or fashion. Doesn't the high street brand 'Quicksilver' use something similar with Germanic overtones?

Sam said...

Hey Sam.

I think what Martyn said about visual pieces should be adhered to. Doesn't "Temples Of Boom" use the font?

Only other things:

Tis on second sentence and a space between fourth and fifth sentence.
And "Hip-hop" in your last sentence. Should hop be uppercase H?

Apart from that, spot on.

Hope this helps you out a bit.


Brad Howell said...

Hey Sam,

Well researched mate, some good information in there. As Sam pointed out previously, there are a few SPG mistakes, also the paragraphs look a little chunky

They could maybe do with a few more clear lines of space. Apart from that, it looks good.



Dominic Rafter said...

Hi Sam, Paragraphs are a bit big and will tire the reader. But other than that it is fine.


Tim Stringer said...

Hi Sam,

I would agree what others have said about SPG and chunking to make the entry easier to read.

The only other issue I would say is that you havn't included any body text links which could help to explain some of the points you have made.

Other than that very informative and interesting work, well done.

Nick Stead said...

Hi Sam,

Well researched post but I would agree with other comments about adding some links and examples of the use of your font in industry.

Regards, Nick

Anonymous said...

Hi Sam,

I agree that paragraphs are a little lengthy and could be broken up some more.

An addition of a real life application of the font would be good too to demonstrate its use.

Finally, SPG needs amending. For example, 'Joh. Peter Nees & Company' instead of 'Joh.Peter Nees Company'.

Other than that, good work. Well done.

Ian Thompson said...

Hi Sam,

As prevously mentioned, the size of your paragraphs are a little daunting. Won't take 2 minutes to rectify though so not a major problem. Also some more images and the inclusion of hyperlinks within the body text would help bring your entry to life.

Apart from those minor niggles well done!

All the best,