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Blackletter types are so-called because they are generally dark, especially in contrast to roman types. They are divided into four main categories: textura (misleadingly called Old English in the United States and England), rotunda, schwabacher, and fraktur. In some countries they are called Gothic because most of these styles are derived from medieval scripts, but in the United States gothic refers to sans serif typefaces. Textura is the most common form of blackletter. The lowercase letters are angular and condensed with a tall x-height while the capitals are wider and often very decorative with flags, hairlines, double strokes, diamonds and other elements. Rotunda refers to types that are rounder than textura but still with some breaks between strokes unlike roman. Schwabacher is the least common style. The letters are a cross beween bâtarde and rotunda. Fraktur is actually a 16th century style that emerged from bâtarde. It is condensed like textura but with more curvature to some of the strokes of the lowercase letters; and with very ornate and flowing capitals which are frequently decorated with swirls of flourishes. In Germany fraktur is also used to describe ALL forms of blackletter. Some typical blackletter types are Goudy Text (textura), San Marco (rotunda), Alte Schwabacher (schwabacher), and Walbaum Fraktur (fraktur). Bâtardes and civilités are more cursive blackletters that are rarer.
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