Welcome to Typophile
Please Sign in.

German typeface in nazi era

Anyone help me with the typeface usad in the main title of this page?



«Rundpost» and «Deutsches Gemeinschaftsblatt» are most likely custom lettering.
The official term for this abstract blackletter style is «Schlichte Gotisch» or «Gebrochene Grotesk».
The other Schlichte Gotisch looks like Tannenberg («Folge 34 / 26. August 1939»).

Der Bertrag... Schmale deutsche Anzeigenschrift by Rudolf Koch, Gebr. Klingspor, Offenbach/M [source: Hoffmanns Schriftatlas, 1930, Stuttgart]

Unfamous Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact.... That's how II World War started.

Wow, great find. I'm writing a research paper about Hitler as the 'art director' of the Third Reich, so this kind of thing is of interest.

Looks like an interesting, "modern" interpretation of the traditional German blackletter.

thanks to aarhaus and janekz, I was able to find a Tannenberg via the Dieter Steffman's page.
Unfortunately no digital version for the Rudolf Koch type.

Might want to look here for more Rudolf Kock fonts:


Quite similar: National /1933-38/ Walter Höhnisch
Impressive collection is here: http://www.romana-hamburg.de/Schriftmappe.pdf

Trevor: If you can get hold of Baseline 53 11/2007 there's an article in it that might interest you on Heinrich Hoffmann.

I remember reading here a topic about the nazis culture department –don't remember the name in german– had claimed one or two typefaces as exclusive, apart from the blackletters, anyone remember which ones? I've tried looking without success

You might also contact the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. They have quite a collection of Nazi propaganda material.

@ Santiago: here are two threads which deal with nazi typography:
(there are several others, I will not go to the one about the nazi inventing Helvetica)

The bold text under "Der Vertrag ..." is likely Deutsche Anzeigenschrift in normal width. The body text might be Neue Fraktur (which you can pick up on typOasis' Blackletter Revival page).


> Wow, great find. I'm writing a research paper
> about Hitler as the 'art director'

...in which case you might be interested in a book called »NSCI« by Andreas Koop (just in case you haven't heard about it yet). It seems to be out of print, but I just discovered this great site which says the NY public library has a copy.

aarhaus: There’s also an inofficial (negative) term for this style – »Schaftstiefelgrotesk«, derived from military boots. »Schaftstiefel« translates to »Jackboot«.

There’s also an inofficial (negative) term for this style – »Schaftstiefelgrotesk«


Well, since it was no less a figure than the post-WW2 German typographers’ Sacred Cow – Jan Tschichold – who coined the term «Schaftstiefelgrotesk», it’s hardly surprising that it is used so frequently and unquestioned today.

Another source for blackletter fonts is http://www.delbanco-frakturschriften.de/

Can anyone look at the letterforms in Tannenberg Fett and not see knee-high boots?

Can anyone look at this picture and not see that it is a vase?

The Schlichte Gotisch was the attempt to abstract broken letter forms – not the attempt to depict jackboots.

Can anyone look at Rorschach tests and not see something perverted?

I know already that Tannenberg et al are, one might say, blackletter sans, like one can call News Gothic an antiqua sans -- a plain, simplified typeface.

Our brains, I once read, are pattern-matching/-seeking devices. A look at the thick lines of Tannenberg Fett, specifically the T's stem, yields a match with a cavalry boot. Or the bottom end of a gutter drainpipe. Or a broken mallet.