Fraktur German True Type Fonts and Others



Below is a listing of several classic German type fonts, in the Fraktur style, and some other fonts with a german flair.

The German fraktur alphabet consists of 26 upper case characters, with the addition of three vowels with Umlauts: Ä, Ö, and Ü. 

The fraktur lower case letters included the basic 26 characters with the addion of the three umlauts: ä, ö, and ü, and an additional few letters and letter combinations.  The lower case letter "s" is a bit complicated.  At least three versions of the lowercase letter "s" exist:  ſ, s, and ß.   Special rules apply when and where to use the three lower case "s" letters.

" s " is considered the "terminal s" or the "round s".  it is used only at the end of words or syllables.

" ſ " (not to be confused with " f ") is considered the "medial s", "Long s" or the "tall s".   It is never used at the end of a word or syllable.  " ſ " exists only in lower case.  The letter " ſ " was used in the US Bill of Rights in the word "Congreſs" (Congress).  No simple computer ASCII code seems to exist for the " ſ " character.

" ß " is considered the "Eszett" or the "sharp s", or "Teufel".  "ß" only exists as a lower case character.   It used to be used in place of two "Long s" letters together (ſſ = ß).  But if the preceding vowel was a short one, double ſſ was traditionally used instead of the ß.  In 1998, the german rules of the usage of the ß were changed: "For the sharp [s] after a long vowel or diphthong one writes ß, as long as no other consonant follows in the word stem". 
The swiss eliminated the use of the ß long ago, and use always "ss" in its place. 
Recent news from Germany indicates that an effort is underway to create an upper case ß letter.  This is being driven by the use of computer word processors that in the process of changing text from lower case to upper case, will change ß to SS.  In personal names, this can be problematic.  And if the upper case text is then converted back to lower case, the SS becomes ss and not the original ß. 

Letter combinations, known as "ligatures" exist in the German Fraktur print.  Ligatures are essentially paired letters that are written very closely together so that they touch (sorry, I can't type examples of them fused here).  Classic german Fraktur ligatur examples include these fused letter pairings: " ch ", " ſsh " (sch), " ck ", " ſ'ſ " (ss), " ſ't " (st), " tz ", and " ph ".   And, letter pairings of  " ſ'z " and " ſ'ſ '" could be written out as " ß " depending upon location in the word and preceding vowel types.

Not counting the ligatures nor umlauted vowels, the german fraktur alphabet seems to have 26 upper case characters, and 28 lower case characters.


One man can change the alphabet of a nation overnight

In the early 20th century Turkey, Mustafa Kemal "Ataturk" converted the Turkey from Arabic script to the Latin alphabet and in the process dragged Turkey into the modern world.  One man changed the alphabet of a nation overnight.

Prior to 1941 Hiter viewed Fraktur as a "german alphabet" and Fraktur was widely used in Third Reich" propaganda publications. 
Yet 1941 Hitler outlawed it, for all the wrong reasons, probably in the course of a lunch at his Berghof.  Unwittingly, Hitler forever spared the Germans and many others the confusion of dealing with the wonderful yet confusing Fraktur alphabet.  Again, one man changed the alphabet of a nation overnight.

Here are links to the translation of the decree and the original document.



German Fraktur True Type Fonts and Special Keystrokes

In the following listing of Frakur true type fonts (TTF), note that they vary in the manner in which they handle the the various oddball German characters.  Not all of the odd characters are rendered in all of the fonts.  On american computer keyboards, umlauted characters and the ß can be rendered by using the ALT key and the numbers on the number pad on the right section of the keyboard:

Special Character
USA keyboard entry
ä
[alt]+132
Ä
[alt]+142
ö
[alt]+148
Ö
[alt]+153
ü
[alt]+129
Ü
[alt]+154
ß
[alt]+225

The various Fraktur true type fonts default to differing methods of handling lower case "s" on USA keyboards..

Some Fraktur TTF's will print "long s" ( ſ ) when the key "s" is used.   You will have to search for another key that will allow you to print (if possible) the "round s" ( s ).  The keys that may give you a "round s" include  "#", " | ", and ' + ".

Some Fraktur TTF's will do the opposite and print a "round s" ( s ) when the key "s" is used.  You will have to search for another key that will allow you to print (if possible) the "long s" ( ſ  ).  The key that may give you a "round s" often is " \  ".

When it comes to ligatures, you are on your own in finding keys that can generate them.  Only a few Fraktur TTF's will generate ligatures.  I indicate below what I found.

And now, the Fonts


Brietkopf Fraktur 
"Long s" ( ſ  ) is the "\" key.  Has ligatures: ch= "<" key,  and ck=">" key.


Deutsch_Gothic  Not a Fraktur font.  No umlauts, no "long s"
( ſ  ), no "sharp s" ( ß ), and no ligatures.


Fette_deutsche Scrift  "Long s" ( ſ  ) is the "\" key.  Has ligatures: ch= "<" key,  and ck=">" key.


FetteFraD  Letter "s" is the "#" key,  no ligatures.  Otherwise identical to the Luftwaffe font, except Fette FraD has a "Long s" ( ſ  ) and a different looking lower case letter  "x".  This bold font is one of my favorites.


Fraktur  The "Long s" ( ſ  ) is the "#" key, no ligatures found. 


Fraktur Plain  No
"long s" ( ſ  ), no ligatures found.


Humbolt Fraktur 
"Long s" ( ſ  ) is the "\" key.  Has ligatures: ch= "<" key,  and ck=">" key.  This  font of medium boldness is one of my favorites.


Kleist-Fraktur 
"Long s" ( ſ  ) is the "\" key.  Has ligatures: ch= "<" key,  and ck=">" key.  This non-bold font is one of my favorites.


KochFraktur  Letter "s" is the "+" key.  Letter "c" is the "$" key.  Has ligatures: si="@" key,  st="#" key,  ch="c" key,  ck="%" key,  sch="[" key, st="]" key,  fi= "|" key,  tz="{" key,  ss="<" key,  and ff=">" key.  Annoyingly the "c" key generates the "ch" ligature.


Luftwaffe   No "long s" ( ſ ) available.  No ligatures.  Otherwise identical to FretteFraD font except for lower case letter "x".


MarsFraktur Normal   Letter "s" is the "+" key.  Letter "c" is the "$" key.  Has ligatures: si="@" key,  st="#" key,  ch="c" key,  ck="%" key, fi= "|" key,  tz="{" key,  ss="<" key,  and ff=">" key.  Annoyingly the "c" key generates the "ch" ligature.


Propaganda   Not a Fraktur font.  Letter "s" is the "+" key.  No ligatures.


Schmale Anzeigenschrift  "Long s" ( ſ  ) is the "\" key.  Has ligatures:  ch="<" key,  ck=">" key.


Schwaben Alt Bold  Letter "s" is the "|" key.  Has ligatures: st="\" key,  ck="@" key.


Tannenberg Fett  Not a Fraktur font.  "Long s" ( ſ  ) is the "\" key.  Has ligatures:  si="@" key,  tt="#" key,  ft="$" key,  ch="<" key,  ck=">" key. 


Zentenar Fraktur  "Long s" ( ſ  ) is the "\" key.  Has ligatures: ch=">" key,  ck="<" key.