Fraktur Mon Amour
Publication date 10/1/2008
4.88 x 7.89 inches (12.4 x 20.0 cm), Hardcover
648 pages, 300 color illustrations
Rights: World English except Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan;
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When was the last time a book on typography made you swoon? Just wait until you feast your eyes on Fraktur Mon Amour, Berlin-based graphic designer Judith Schalansky's love letter to Blackletter fonts. Blackletter, also known as Fraktur or Gothic type, was commonly used throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. By the end of the Renaissance it had mostly been replaced by the typeface Latin Antiqua. The use of Blackletter type became taboo in Germany after World War II because it was incorrectly associated with the Nazis, who actually banned its use in 1941 because it was falsely believed to be a Jewish invention. Revelations about the true history and meaning of Blackletter type have resulted in a resurgence in usage by graphic designers. Companies such as Nike, Reebok, and Coca-Cola now use Fraktur in their advertising. It decorates posters, album covers, and even skin in the form of tattoos. But a comprehensive collection of the most beautiful classic faces, as well as the best new variations, has been missing until now.
Fraktur Mon Amour reproduces 300 variations of Blackletter fonts, ranging from historical fonts to contemporary reinventions, in a sensuous, beautifully crafted, hot-pink prayer book'style catalog that is destined to become a fetish object for designers and type enthusiasts. Each Blackletter font is presented on a full page along with its complete alphabet, date of origin, the name of its designer, and its original foundry. On the facing page is a composition created from that font that explores the subversive beauty of this unique typeface. In addition, 137 of these fonts--including four created exclusively for this book--are collected on an enclosed CD (Mac and PC) for free private and restricted commercial use. Fraktur Mon Amour is the winner of several awards, including the Type Directors Club of New York's 2007 Award for Typographic Excellence.
Judith Schalansky is a graphic designer based in Berlin, Germany.
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in blackletter, How Design:
"Blackletters association with Nazi propaganda cast the type style as the black sheep of typography. But more and more brands are using the style as a way to bring an edgy vibe to their products."
— Sean Ashcroft
Pink is the new black(letter), Eye Magazine:
"Fraktur Mon Amour is essentially a compendium of currently available digital blackletter fonts (expanded to cover 333 of them) preceded by a few words by Schalansky and supplemented by a CD of 150 free fonts. Since its initial publication in 2006, it has been a raging success. The design, which deliberately thumbs its nose at the standard image of blackletter, is a key factor in that success. The book looks like a Bible with its squat proportions and placemarker ribbons except that its title and its page edges are in hot pink. Although not a shade I like, its choice as a second colour was a brilliant decision. It not only yanks blackletter out of its medieval and unfortunate political associations, but it also signals that blackletter is not inherently masculine or even black. The fonts in Fraktur Mon Amour are a mix of the excellent, the important and the trivial. But this is surely one part of its popularity. Schalansky has brought blackletter to the people. The book is a bold and welcome addition to the sparse literature on blackletter"
— Paul Shaw
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