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by riley harrison

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

 Mark Twain

Lately I have made being humbled by technology a daily practice. Everything I’ve been touching hasn’t been turning to gold. I recently became fascinated with computer fonts and thought wouldn’t it be fun to spruce up my blog with some snazzy new fonts. I mean it’s so easy to do in Microsoft Word how hard can it be in WordPress (the software used by many people to write their blog). I’ll save you a lot of time – don’t try it, it’s not worth the effort. There is no guarantee that the font you select in writing your blog will be available on other computers that read your blog. It’s safer just to use the mainstream fonts supplied by the giants in the computer industry (Microsoft, Apple etc.)

I did find one enjoyable story about font usage (it’s always heartwarming when you read about Hitler’s failures and frustrations). The Third Reich decided to decree that only one script or font would be used in Germany. Third Reich propaganda not only employed gothic lettering for its message, but made it the message itself: one slogan read ‘Feel German, think German, speak German, be German, even in your script”. In other words the medium is as important as the message.

But in January 1941, everything suddenly changed; Gothic script was outlawed by decree and was now characterized as ‘Schwabacher-Jewish’. The type was now being associated with the documents of Jewish bankers and the Jewish owners of printing presses. Of course the Jewish bankers had nothing to do with the policy change; the real reason was pragmatism.  “In the occupied territories you just couldn’t read it,” says Erik Spiekermann. “If you were French and saw a sign saying “Uerboten” in Gothic, it could be very confusing”. But the main reason was that the Nazis just couldn’t make enough fonts  – there was a shortage of type. When it came to printing outside Germany, the Nazis found few gothic fonts in French or Dutch foundries. This was in the days before desktop publishing (phototypesetting and laser printing). This was the era of movable metal type. Here is the alphabet in Gothic type:

 german gothic

It’s a beautiful classic font. I have a couple of beer steins decorated with German Gothic type

While browsing on the internet, I found some interesting fonts appropriate for the holiday season. Kathy and I always enclose a letter with our Christmas card. Here is a font that looks rather wintry (that’s snow on top of the letters):


christmass font


We might use this font to print our Christmas letters.  I am sure there are  fonts for other celebratory occasions (Thanksgiving, Valentine’s day, birthdays, anniversaries etc.) . You are only limited by your creative spirit.

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