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You are here: Home / Type & typography / Code Switching, Multi-Style, Diglossia

Code Switching, Multi-Style, Diglossia

Roman Wilhelm On the Convergence of Blackletter and Roman Fonts in Early Prussian Typesetting, 1530-1806 ATypI 2016 • Warsaw, Poland Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw ASP

in 16th-century Prussia, letterpress was widely used as a mass medium to spread new religious and academic concepts (mainly of the growing Protestant faith and pietism). During a timeframe of roughly 250 years, books and leaflets were printed in various letterpress offices, centered around places such as Halle (Saale), Gdansk, or Koenigsberg (present-day Kaliningrad), the latter being of special historic interest for her role in Polish and Lithuanian publishing. peaking in the 1690s, Roman typefaces were used within the context of the common German blackletter to distinguish words or parts of words from Latin or Romance origin. Contrary to Meiji Japan, where an existing script (Katakana) was standardized to spell all non-Chinese loanwords, Prussian bookprinters used ‘style switching’ to provide the desired linguistic clarity. Being a part of my current research on multilingual typography, I would like to share a theory which may be of special interest to methods of republishing and re-contextualizing original material from this context. My new typeface family “Koex Text” aims to meet the requirements of style-switching typography for more respect to the materiality of type in the digital context.

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