Gotika

Eric_West's picture

Hey all,

Anybody know anything about this face and it's designer? Hard to find anything on it.

http://flickr.com/photos/39436506@N00/

Thanks

Eric

update:
2.23.05 2:42 am

Attached is a sample of the right leg where stem meets serif. I was noticing that the stem, if using a purely geometric rectangle for the serif, visually makes the serif look like it bows. The sample on the left side, I raised the serifs a bit at the base of the stem, seems to work better, doesn't bow anymore, at smaller sizes,at least, If you make it too big, the mod's become apparent. Any suggestions, diff was to bracket or maybe just a more subtle angle, or even maybe an extremely shallow curve? AA.jpg

update:
2.24.05 11:44 am

construction.pdf

AttachmentSize
AA.jpg30.12 KB
contruction.pdf282.06 KB
dan_reynolds's picture

Eric, I know about it.

It was designed by Imre Reiner for the Bauer Foundry in Frankfurt, 1933. Reiner was Hungarian by birth, I believe, but he studied and worked in Germany between the wars, designing quite a few typefaces. What else would you like to know? I have a lot buried in reference books behind me…

BTW, if you like old German specimen books, here is a nice one.

Eric_West's picture

Thanks Dan,

According to this ...

http://cgm.cs.mcgill.ca/~luc/klein.html

a revival was done in 2004 by Manfred Klein, called Imres Fraktur, that looks like this.

http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=42288263&size=o

Why does in have almost/none? of the characteristics of Gotika ? Revivals are usually pretty close to the origin are they not ala mrs. eaves/Baskerville? Reinterpretation is more like what it is.

Confusion sets in once again.

dan_reynolds's picture

Oh my, that isn't Gotika at all. That may be based on a Fraktur that Reiner drew at some point. Some resources are better to rely on than others. Just because a designer, or someone else, dubs something a revival, that doesn't necessarily make it so. And some fonts that don't call themselves revivals are…

A good reference is the Klingspor Museum in Offenbach, which has lists for most major 20th Century German type designers (and then some…) on its site. Here is the list, and here is the PDF for Reiner: http://klingspor-museum.de/KlingsporKuenstler/Schriftdesigner/Reiner/Imr...

Eric_West's picture

Dan,

How does one go about finding out about permissions etc. If I were interested in digising it?

Eric

dan_reynolds's picture

This is tricky. Everyone seems to have a different answer here.

For a font this old, there are no legal problems (probably) with digitizing the design. The designer is dead, but he may have relatives who are involved in design. This happens sometimes, that they would like to have their permission asked.

I don't think you can call it Gotika though, although that would take some research. Bauer released the font, and the Neufville Foundation in Spain is Bauer now. They hold the old copyrights, and distribute fonts (digitizations of old ones and new fonts, too… for instance the best digital version of Futura available is theirs… Bauer Germany released Futura in metal in 1927). It is within the realm of possibility that they are working on their own revival, in which case they may have already applied for a design patent in the European Union. A typeface's design may be registered and protected within the EU for 25 years. Older designs cannot in general be patented, but you never know.

Some people will tell you to ignore all of this, and they would call it all "unreasonable." I think that it would just be polite. If we were talking about a type foundry which had NO connection with the present, or a type from the 1800s, it might be a little different. Its best to go case-by-case on this.

Honestly, in my opinion, the best thing to do would be to digitize it, and then submit it to Neufville. If they would take it and distribute it for you, then you could call it Gotika for sure, and there wouldn't be any problems at all ever, because they would back it, etc.

dan_reynolds's picture

Oh, another thing: if you digitize it, don't say the following when you sell it (on MyFonts.com or whereever): This is my NEW FONT, by Eric West. Better for everyone's karma would be wording like: Gotika (or, insert other name here), originally by Imre Reiner, 1933. Revived and Updated* by Eric West, 2005.

*Updated, because you clearly must update it. Old metal types almost always cannot/should not be redone just 1:1 digitally. Some things must invariably change to suit contemporary usage. Not to mention that today's standard character set is quite different than one from 1933. The Euro, for instance! But subtle things, too, e.g., Small Caps, different figure options, etc.

Eric_West's picture

Thanks Dan. Much to think about.

Although, what you said about updated characters sets... If it was submitted as a display face, would that make a difference? As far as all the small caps etc... If it was a display face, would it be needed?

Eric_West's picture

Also, the scans I have are only 100 dpi at 7x10 in, do you know of any resources to get better scans/spec books?

dan_reynolds's picture

Sorry not to get back to this sooner, Eric, I was away most of the week at the ATypI conference in Helsinki.

1. Whether display or text, conventions change over time. We use type in 2005 differently than we did in 1933. Also, the original Gotika was made primarily for German-language use. But I can almost guarantee you that any revival of Gotika that you make will primarily be used anywhere else but Germany (but this isn't the place for another Blackletter debate).

Lots of glyphs we use today (even in display faces, like the Euro and the @ symbols, just to name a few, were probably never cast in metal for the original Gotika. And don't forget the need for accents, even CE, Baltic, and/or Turkish accents, because German accents alone just won't be enough (see above paragraph).

And, in the past, mistakes were sometimes made. Sadly, you probably can't get your hands on Reimer's notes (if such things exist) to see when and how he made which decisions, and why.

2. I think that literal revivals are far less interesting than adaptations. Some change is good. Just make sure that your customers know which changes, if any, you make, and why. They'll thank you for your honesty and clarity.

3, I don't know where you can get better images of Gotika. Paul Shaw and Peter Bain wrote a series of books for a Blackletter exhibition at Cooper Union in 1998. These have Gotika images inside them. Also, some public libraries in the US may have some copies of specimen books with Gotika. Any 1930s or 1940s Bauer book would do, I guess. If you ever come to Germany, I could show you some resources in the Frankfurt area. If I were you, I would e-mail Neufville in Barcelona (?) and ask them if they have and/or know of any other resources.

How's that?

Eric_West's picture

Thanks Dan,

I emailed Neufville last week, haven't heard anything yet. Thanks for the extra input.
This is turning out to be a bigger task than expected.

How was the conference?

paul d hunt's picture

Also, the scans I have are only 100 dpi at 7x10 in, do you know of any resources to get better scans/spec books?

Eric. I think the images you've got are sufficiently good to digitize from, especially since this is a fairly straightforward design without a lot of really fine details. If you like, i could start something for you and send it to you to see if it'll work for what you need.

paul d hunt's picture

there's what looks like a reproduction of the same ad you posted o flickr in Printing History on page 36 of issue 38/39, an issue devoted solely to blackletter.

Eric_West's picture

Paul,

That looks like the best route at the moment(printing history), because those scans I have, the 'whole page' of letters is 7x10 x 100dpi, not each letter. I was thinking about just going at it, just visually, I just want to be as faithful to the source as possible.

Maybe contacting paul shaw or peter bain?

How good do you think the repro's in PH are?

Eric

dan_reynolds's picture

The reproduction quality is only important to a degree. You want to get a look at the letters, but I would recommend that you not scan-and-trace! Look at the letters, use your eyes, and then make the outlines on screen. This will take longer but it will result in better, and probably more consistent, letters.

paul d hunt's picture

Look at the letters, use your eyes, and then make the outlines on screen.

This is one way to do it, but i find it easier to use scanned bitmaps as a "basis" from which to build off of. you don't need hi-res scans to get important things right like stem weight and proportions, but you may have to go it your own when deciding how to interpret finer details. Anyway, that's what i learned when digitizing an old face that i had limited printed samples of...

Eric_West's picture

Paul,

http://static.flickr.com/33/45370696_b807cbac44.jpg

Thats about an hour, doing it the way dan suggested. Def. still needs work. I'll givita shot the way you suggested. I've been working on my type for senior project, so the Gotika thing is a bit of a side project... . I'll send you an email to your p22 account, I would be interested in seeing what you've got.

paul d hunt's picture

very nice! keep up the good work.

Eric_West's picture

^
Bump

dan_reynolds's picture

Eric, the link to the photo that you posted three posts up isn't working. Can you repost it? Then I can give you some feedback.

Eric_West's picture

Dan,

I kept looking at it, and looking, and looking, and I still hadn't gotten the angles right, so I pulled it. Did you see the update on the topic?
Thoughts?

I've got roughs of A-H done, I'll post up top.
Acrobat 6 or later, has layers.

Eric_West's picture

Thanks Stephen,

John Butler led the way in exposing my 'too-lateness' in 'the road to neufville' thread. I'm still going to contact them and try to do an 'official' revival tho. Making a list of all info/language/business angles and my approach, and then I'll report back in, with my results.

peace

Bleisetzer's picture

You know this website including Gotika?
http://www.moorstation.org/typoasis/blackletter/htm/gotika.htm

What I am a little bit confused about:
Does no one take care for copyrights thinking about a re-design of old german blackletter fonts?
Gotika e.g. is from Bauersche Giesserei. Its still on air and they have the rights.
The same with e.g. Jaecker-Schrift (shown in above listed link). It's from D.Stempel - and they still hold all rights.

Do you think its not important to ask?
Or are there other laws in your countries?

Georg

Preußisches Bleisatz-Magazin

Eric_West's picture

this thread is dead. the project is distant memory. musings of a naive student.

hrant's picture

Georg, by quantity×quality we care more than anybody else.
On the other hand, we also care about more than property.

hhp

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