Hello, Typeheads! I certainly hope you’ve all been well since my last post 2 weeks ago. I sincerely apologize for my absence, but I’m afraid I came down with a terrible cold. I know that being a little ill has nothing to do with my ability to type, but being ill makes my tabloid television increase exponentially, which severely limits my ability to type. So there you have it.
If you recall, there was a comment left by reader Jack Gordon asking if I would discuss the Antiqua-Fraktur Dispute. I would love to say that I knew what that was, but sadly I had to research it. Of course I am notoriously lazy, so where else did I go but Wikipedia. Can you believe that they actually have quite an extensive page on this topic? It surprised me quite a bit; I assumed that Wikipedia’s more lengthy pages were reserved for Battlestar Gallactica Episode Lists and Jonas Brothers trivia (did you know he oldest one’s name is Kevin? I blindly assumed he didn’t have a name, but now I know).
So this is what I have gathered on the topic of the Antiqua-Fractur Dispute:- It was considered a Typographical Dispute. Apparently there is such a thing.
- The dispute was somewhat confined to 19th and 20th Century Germany, who at the time should have been spending less time arguing over type and more time watching out for disgruntled artists with silly moustaches. Hey-o! I’ll be here all week.
- From what I can tell, the main point that was argued in this dispute was that Fraktur was the more readable typeface. The article also states that Fractur was favoured by the Nazis. Then the Nazis thought it was “Jewish script” and they changed their tune; Antiqua now became the Nazis favourite. Then Hitler changed it back. I know, I know – nothing about the decisions made in early 20th Century Germany makes any sense.
- Did You Know?? Otto von Bismarck would refuse gifted German books that were printed in Antiqua typefaces. I, however, will never refuse a Bismarck (but that is because I love doughnuts).
In conclusion, I think the long and short of it is that the Antiqua-Fraktur Dispute is a case of Who Gives a Crap. Kidding! Typography disputes seem to really divide people. In my humble (and extremely un-educated) opinion, I don’t know which I prefer. While Antiqua reminds me of Grimm Brothers’ stories, it also seems sloppish to me (not a real word, but I’m keeping it). Meanwhile, Fraktur is fantastically German and reminds me of Beer, Chocolate, lederhosen, and dirndls (cute!). Sadly, it also reminds me of Nazis (erp…not cute).
So really, I need your help – which is better? Should there be a dispute over which is the ultimate German font? Is Antiqua the Comic Sans of the early 20th Century? Please let me know! Till next week, auf Wiedersehen.