I knew letters were something special before I ever really understood design or typography. Living around the Pennsylvania German culture, you become accustomed to its style, and seems a little less spectacular on a day-to-day basis. That is, until I began honing my skills for lettering and typography. Then I rediscovered the style of letterforms known as Blackletter. Also known as Gothic Script, Gothic Miniscule, Textura, or Fraktur, the lettering style was used throughout Europe beginning as early as 1150 and can still be seen today in various uses.
After a workshop that I attended in the Fall for hand-lettering, I began developing my own blackletter alphabet while sketching out the letters over and over. Then I remembered I received an email some time ago from a man informing me that if I ever wanted to turn one of my lettering styles into a typeface or font, that he could help me in that process. So I move forward (slowly) with creating my first ever typeface, a blackletter font that will be made digital and can be used by anyone. It’s a scary yet exciting possibility that just happened to come together naturally over time.
At the moment it’s a work in progress, but it’s something I look forward to working on whenever I get the chance. And one day, maybe I’ll see my font created by hand, then made digital, used in designs all over the world. An opportunity that’s been waiting and I never even knew it.Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Diane Faye Zerr is a freelance graphic designer and author of the Faye + Co blog. She has a B.F.A. from Kutztown University and has worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Arts, small advertising agencies, and now works from her home design studio in Reading.