The evolution of GOTHIC LETTERING

Roman, Old English and Script Letters

The Basic Gothic Letter, Old English, Roman and Script Lettering The Basic Gothic Letter, Old English, Roman and Script Lettering The Basic Gothic Letter, Old English, Roman and Script Lettering
The Basic Gothic Letter, Old English, Roman and Script Lettering

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The basic "GOTHIC" letter

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Goth-ic, goth~ik, a. Pertaining to the Goths;
pertaining to the Middle Ages; rude, barbarous; denoting a style of architecture utilizing the pointed arch and ribbed vaulting current in western Europe from 1200 to 1500 A.D referring to a literary style in which a bleak and dismal setting, weird and often violent happenings and a feeling of doom and decay are characteristic.-n. The language of the Goths; art and architecture in the Gothic style. Among the numerous runic inscriptions the oldest preserved is Gothic text. In fact the oldest text in any Germanic language is the "Wulfila Bible" from the fourth century about (311-383). Wulfila, also known as "Ulfilas" was a Western Gothic bishop who translated the bible from Greek so it could be understood by the Goths. He was the first person to put any Germanic language into writing.

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Gothic Letters: suite of scripts of the later middle ages - belonging to the "Sans Serif" class when referring to style of typeface; originating in northern France and the low countries in the late 11th century; also refers to the architectural style which developed in the same time and place; originally the language of the Goths. The references to writing style and architecture were originally intended to be pejorative, associated with barbarism. Visual "Paleography" which studies the history on Latin Lettering, beginning with "Artificial Uncial" in use around 500-999 CE (Pre Medieval).

Gothic,Old English, Roman, Script LettersGothic LettersGothic,Old English, Roman, Script Letters

This progressed into variations of letter styles such as "Insular Majuscule, Insular Miniscule, Carolingian Miniscule, Textura, Roman, Gothic Scripts, Gothic Littera Bastarda, Chancery-Italic, Celtic Roundhand, Ionic script, Cyrillic script, Rotunda and Old English".

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During twelfth to the sixteenth century Gothic script prevailed, and still has a representation in the characters of the German language. These were the characters used in the famous "Black Letter Books," as the first books published in Germany imitated the heavy lines of the Gothic script. The French modified them, and gave to their forms the name "letters de somme." The Italians rejected them altogether, and produced the forms now known as the ROMAN.

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Goth; One of an ancient Teutonic race of people who over ran and conquered most of the Roman Empire in the 3rd to 5th centuries; a barbarian. The Goths were just one of a large number of Germanic tribes and confederations which expanded their influence in Europe as the Roman Empire began to implode from the 4th Century AD.

The Barbarians orignated in the far east. The great wall of China was built to keep them out.
The "Huns" began to ravage and pillage small villages as they traveled west towards "Rome". They were master archers and horsemen.

In ancient societies, writing was a holy thing. After all, it was a way of changing sound into visual speech. That sounds magical, doesn't it. That is why the ancient peoples thought that writing must have been invented by the gods. Also the priests were the ones who usually did most of the writing and got a big reputation for doing it.

The Egyptians used picture writing inside their tombs and called it "the speech of the gods." But the greeks called the Egyptian letters "hieroglyhics," or "sacred carvings." In northern Europe during the early centuries of the christian era, there were magic letters called "runes (introduced or invented by the Germanic peoples in the 1st or 2nd century." This term came from a word meaning "mystery," or "secret." Runes were also used on weapons and said to be able to bring the dead back to life. When northern Europe became Christian, the early priest outlawed the writing of runes. There was too much of a connection between these markings, pagan religions and magic.

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In a way, writing goes back further than just to the ancient tribes of the Middle East. Drawings dating back to 20,000 B.C. have been found on the walls of caves. Not only were there pictures of animals and humans, but there were also geometric shapes and patterns.

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So writing, as we know it, seems to have come through three main stages. The first was the picture graph type of writing. The next type of writing was the ideograph. In ideographic writing, the drawing means not only the sun, for instance, but also some of it's characteristics. "Light," "heat," "brightness," and "day." This was used by the Sumerians, Chinese and the Egyptians.

The third stage is of course, the phonetic type of writing, such as we use now. In other words, phonetics are symbols that stand for sounds. We have twenty-six symbols in English-called the alphabet. Many scholars think that all are descendants of one original alphabet. This first alphabet was probably invented in either Syria or Palestine sometime between 1750 and 1500 B.C.

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Which brings us to this; all letters of the alphabet made with even width strokes are classified as "Gothic." Originally, "Text" or "Old English letters were called Gothic. All letters made with "accented" strokes or thick and thin strokes are classified as "Roman." "Text" letters are all the styles now known as "Old English" which includes "Cloister," "Church," "German," and "Black Text."

Gothic,Old English,Roman, Script letters

Roman letters or manuscript are basically just variations of the gothic letter using thick and thin strokes. And Old English Text are variations of the Roman type. Script lettering is also a variation manuscript which is a variation of Roman.

Here are some excellent examples of old style writing!

Are you now starting to see how one letter style leads to the other? And it all started with ...Gothic!
Master this one style, and everything else is a walk-in-the park!!

Gothic and Old English fonts
Gothic and Old English fonts -

In the Egyptian language, the term writing signified, according to Lenormant, "Writing heavenly words." This meaning is not only beautiful but essentially true, for whatever may be the origin of letters, no gift or invention has been as useful, nor contributed so much to the civilization of mankind, as the ART OF WRITING.

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