Saturday, 24 March 2012

Gothic, Old English or Black Letter Styles

Gothic, Old English or Black Letter Style Fonts


The Gothic fonts are also known as ‘Old English’ or ‘Black Letter’ styles.  This style has always been in fashion.  It has a distinctive style, which looks very ornate, distinguished and pleasing to the eye. The Gothic style scripts are characterized by the pointed, angular appearance and appear ornate, heavy and black.  Years ago, the upper case used for initials were often very ornate, to the point that it was almost ineligible to read, but today, simper forms are commonly used.


History Of Gothic Styles

The Gothic font style had various forms and has been around since the Middle Ages and used by monks in monasteries.  Many of the works produced by the monks have survived and kept in museums.  Their works were truly stunning art works with glorious illuminative scripts.

Hints And Tips Of Gothic Writing Scripts


In this article, we are concentrating on the basic gothic writing, but later on, we will show you how to produce some stunning illuminations, which is built on the basic Gothic script letterforms. 

Writing in Gothic font styles is easier than you think.  The trick is to concentrate on the angular style of fonts.

1. Gothic style looks best using a broad nibbed calligraphy pen and good quality black ink and smooth paper.

2. The trick to successful Gothic calligraphy writing is to hold the calligraphy pen so the pen nib is held at a steady and constant 40 - 45ยบ angle throughout. 

3. Take your time when practising

4. Use faint lined paper to keep the letter forms even and smooth

5. Keep practising to gain confidence

6. When writing in Gothic styles, often the Serif style fonts are used.  The Serif letters are more ornate and illustrative with details at the ends of the strokes that make up letter forms.

Common Mistakes When Writing Gothic Style Fonts

The most common mistake that many beginners do is when they unintentionally change the angle of the calligraphy pen.  This can give disappointing results.  Another common problem is writing the letterforms in unequal sizes or changing the style of the font into another font, such as their normal handwriting.  The trick is to keep the pen at a steady angle, copy the calligraphy style letterforms, concentrate and take your time.  Eventually, with time and practice, writing in Gothic style will come naturally.

You can create lovely effects with different coloured inks and paper with washes.  View the Watercolour Washes post for more ideas.

View the Videos below and on the right to help you get the feel of Gothic Calligraphy Writing.