, also known as Blackletter or Gothic Script, was used from around the 12th century up till the 17th century, and was first described as “Gothic” in 15th century Italy. While developed from the Carolingian Minuscule that was well-known for its legibility, Textura looked vastly different from its ancestor, having a narrower and taller form. Its letters were formed by sharp and angular straight lines, contrasting to the roundness of the Carolingian Miniscule, and their strong vertical strokes were made before serifs were drawn upon them.
The condensed and bold Textura rose as literacy increased in 12th century Europe. The want for books in different sectors rose as education grew in importance, creating a demand for written text outside of religious scripts. While the need for book production increased, the price of writing materials stood to be an issue; not to mention more need for labour and time to create these items. Thus, Textura was heavily used – its narrow form allowing for more letters to fit in a single sheet of parchment or papyrus.
As a person with zero background in Typography, I never really knew how or why fonts were created. Simply assuming someone had created fonts out of their own personal entertainment and joy, I was pleasantly surprised to know that many Fonts had such interesting stories as to how they came to be. Learning how the events during a certain time period affect the way people wrote, and how they created new fonts to overcome new challenges really opened my eyes and gave me a greater appreciation for typefaces.
During class, we were introduced to many types of fonts through different times and their advantages and disadvantages. But of all the fonts, there was one script that really caught my attention – Textura. When I first saw Textura, I really liked how beautiful and condensed it was. I was highly amused to know it had been termed “Gothic” but also saw how fitting it had been with the Gothic Style. The calligraphic script is highly aesthetically pleasing and elegant in my opinion, with the tightly condensed text making each page feel fully utilised. Paired with the highly intricate drawings, the script gave the page an antiquely “posh” look, and I imagine an entire book of such pages looked highly impressive.
Learning that Textura had been developed when the demand for books rose had been interesting since the text had seemed much more difficult to read than its direct ancestor, the Carolingian Minuscule, in my eyes. While I do love the script greatly, an entire book of condensed calligraphic text sounded like an extreme nightmare; adding to the horror of having to learn an entire book of business or law during that time.
Nevertheless, the idea that this script was formed to allow more to have access to textbooks and knowledge was heartwarming and highly fascinating. Saving costs so many others can afford a path to gaining new knowledge by creating a new typeface suggests the high importance of Typography in the past and also now. This lecture has enabled me to truly respect and appreciate fonts more, and consider the usage of the different fonts before I choose them.