textura quadrata

Translating from latin Textura Quadrata means literally squared texture. I believe its the easiest blackletter font, perfect for beginners. This handwriting can be found in many medieval manuscripts from the 13th century on.

This is a heavy but very elegant font. Text results in a even texture made of tall compressed characters.


“By the beguining of the 13th century, the early gothic script had evolved into a non cursive, angular hand know as the Textura Quadrata.”
(…) However the Quadrata did survive into the 20th century in the form of cut letters, stained glass letters, and titles on deeds, as well as being much favoured in Europe by songwritters, shop owners, and designers of newspapers mastheads.
(David Harris in The art of calligraphy. A practical guide to skill and techniques p.50, Dorling Kindersley, New York.)

“all form of TEXTURA are “broken”, i.e. its lines are sharp and angular and show no rounded elements. Its narrow tightly set letterforms appear, like Gothic churches, to strive heavenward.”
(Judith Schalansky in Fraktur mon amour, p.95, Princeton Architectural press, New York.)

The font Guthenberg used for his first printed book was a variation called textura precious. This font is very similar, the main difference is the lack of diamonds in the “feet” of the characters.

This particular Textura Quadrata was designed from scratch on a grid. This grid can be downloaded for free so one can easily practice by hand. Still I recommend tracing on the iPad first.