Style of alphabet used in handwriting throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. It features uniform vertical strokes that end on the baseline, angular lines instead of smooth curves and circles, and the overlapping of convex forms. Black letter and roman were the dominant letter shapes of medieval typography. The only extant work known to have been printed by Johannes Gutenberg, the 42-line Bible (1450s), was set in black-letter type. Roman type largely superseded it in the Renaissance, though black letter persisted in Germany well into the 20th century. Today black letter is often used for diplomas, Christmas cards, and liturgical writings.
Black letter, type as used in the 42-line Bible issued at Mainz, 1456.—Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Variants of BLACK LETTER
black letter or Gothic script or Old English script
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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