Preuss Revives Fleischmann’s Baroque Textura

Written by John Butler on July 29, 2004

Some of you may know Ingo Preuss from typeforum.de. He also runs his own foundry, preussTYPE, and just finished polishing off a brand new revival of Johann Michael Fleischmann’s Groote Canon Duits, an ornate baroque blackletter. The detailed specimen PDFs in German and English provide both extensive samples and fascinating details on the type’s historical background. The font works even better in combination with Preuss’ new Baroque Borders fonts, shown in this PDF specimen.


Preuss’ version, Fleischmann Gotisch PT, may well be the most ambitiously complete single blackletter font yet. It supports Western and Central European characters and beyond. It also contains, for the first time, harmoniously designed punctuation and currency symbols, as well as a number of ornaments, ligatures and alternates.

It also features some contextual code to correctly substitute the long s character in about 85% of any given German text set in the font: a major feat within the lookup table limitations of OpenType. There are also both proportional and tabular versions of lining and oldstyle numerals and even a set of Roman numerals. Preuss also added a few custom ligatures to address spacing problems unique to this design, mostly arising from ornate bulbous terminals.

Yet Preuss also took great effort to adhere to Fleischmann’s original designs and avoid including certain revisions added through the centuries as other foundries re-implemented the original in advancing industrial type technologies and changing tastes. The result is another flagship example of the latest smart-font technology helping contemporary typography close in on the quality standards that had to be sacrificed to technical compromise in previous decades.

The fonts are available for sale both directly from preussTYPE and at MyFonts.com.

4 Comments

  1. Jon Young says:

    Gorgeous! I always imagine myself poking my fingers on blackletter fonts. And then bleeding as a result. Grim, I know. But then when I zoomed in on the letters, all of the edges are smooth and have a liquidity to them. Is that true to form? I guess that would be like the ink bleeding into the paper. I’ve never magnified an old blackletter sample… I’m assuming the letterforms are not sharp, but malleable like this? I happen to be a huge fan of Jim Parkinson’s Amador! A bit more modest.

  2. Dan Reynolds says:

    This is a super contribution. It’s about time that we have a comprehensive blackletter to work with. And a revival from a great figure like Fleischmann… just goes to show that antiqua isn’t the be-all and end-all of western type design. Hurray for Ingo Preuss!

  3. Dan Reynolds says:

    Jon, I like Jim Parkinson’s Amador, too. But it is a completely different sort of blackletter. Amador is more of an old-style, Mainz textura. Similar to what Gutenberg himself used. Also a lot like Fredric Goudy’s Goudy Text. Ingo Preuss’ Fleischmann is based off of much later developments (although I’d call this textura-esque, too). It is totally baroque… even past baroque into Roccoco. How many Roccoco typefaces do we say nowadays? It avoids the pitfalls of historicism that afflicts alot of later balckletter designs from the neo-classical period all they way up until designers like Goudy. Good show!

  4. Mark Bäcker says:

    John, you are right: blackletters were (partially) “much sharpen”.
    But this refers usually only to the lead type characters. If one printed such type characters in lead composition, there was always an effect, which in Germany calls “Quetschrand”: depending upon printing ink, paper quality, quality of the printprocess etc. the color is squeezed over the actual form of the lead letters on the print. You can see that very good, if you are looking at historical printing more exactly (naturally you can see this effect on all kind of lead type prints). A reason, why the Fleischmann Gotisch PT became so good (and is so near the originals), is because Ingo Preuss looked on the printings, not the lead type.

Post a Comment

Comments at Typographica are moderated and copyedited, just like newspaper “Letters to the Editor”. Abusive or off-topic comments are not published. We appreciate compliments, but don’t publish them unless they add to the dialog. Thank you!