I briefly mentioned how interesting I find blackletter in the release post for Alkhemikal, but one thing I didn’t really mention was that there are so many different types of blackletter out there, with styles not only evolving over time, but unique to different countries, like Germany’s Fraktur or Italy’s Rotunda.
And of course on top of that, there are the many blackletter-adjacent medieval hands, like Carolingian and Uncial scripts. Beautiful stuff, all of it! So although I’ve already created a blackletter-inspired font in Alkhemikal, it’s far from the last time I’ll revisit the genre.
This time, rather than a modern interpretation that emphasizes legibility over ornamentation, I went much, much more traditional. Owre Kynge is a fairly accurate (well, as accurate as a pixel font can be) recreation of Old English (from England) blackletter, from the 15th century.
The name “Owre Kynge” comes from the first two words of the Agincourt Carol, a 15th century English hymn recounting the Battle of Agincourt. Here is the first verse:
This verse has always baffled me, no matter how many times I hear it. Normandy, chivalry, marvelously–these all rhyme. But then it ends in cry? Cry does not rhyme, not even close. It always feels like I’ve forgotten the lyrics when I sing it, since it really drops the rhythm once you get to “cry.”
Here’s the rest of the alphabet:
I already have more blackletter pixel fonts in development! There are still plenty of different styles to explore.