Dear friends and users of old German and Germanic philology fonts!

ON THE FOLLOWING PAGES you’ll find some fonts designed by me covering the Latin, the Gothic and the Runic alphabet. Unless noted otherwise, they can be downloaded and used freely for non commercial purposes. Up next, a brief description of the various categories:

Latin Alphabet

The two Latin fonts Pfeffer Simpelgotisch and Pfeffer Mediæval are typefaces of the European Middle Ages. However, they aren’t faithful copies of historic scriptures, but rather their idealised images.

Pfeffer Simpelgotisch is quite a plain textura (i. e. the script of the Gothic era) making extensive use of the so called OpenType Features, above all of the automatic glyph substitution.

Pfeffer Mediæval depicts a Carolingian minuscule, distinct because of its vast range of glyphs rather than due to sophisticated OpenType usage. A Gothic and a Runic set are also included.

Gothic Alphabet

Bishop Wulfila
Bishop Wulfila
Photo: Nina Strugalla

The Gothic or Wulfilan alphabet has nothing to do with the medieval gothic script. Rather, it is the script used by the ancient Goths and invented by Visigoth bishop Wulfila in the fourth century A.D. for the purpose of translating the Bible into Gothic. The Gothic fonts offered here are based on the younger model of the Gothic script (S-style) as it appears in the Codex Argenteus. The difference to the older variants (Σ-style) lies in the younger model’s “S” being equal to the Latin one, while the “S” of the older variants resembles the Greek sigma. Again, the fonts of this category aren’t faithful reproductions of their historic originals, but idealised images.

If anything, Silubr is probably the most original typeface, though. It is modelled on the uncial script of the Codex Argenteus.

Ulfilas is a serif font designed to satisfy the requirements of modern typography. In addition to the historic majuscules, I’ve added minuscules derived from them. By using the Gothic keyboard layouts offered at this site, upper- and lowercase letters can be typed in the usual way.

Skeirs on the other hand depicts a sans serif font intended above all for screen display. Again, it includes upper- and lowercase letters.

Midjungards is a font I’ve made for sheer enthusiasm and for the fun of it, following the style of J. R. R. TOLKIEN’s Elven script Tengwar. In this font no distinction is made between upper- and lowercase letters. For the ease of use, the Latin majuscule and minuscule as well as the Gothic range are all mapped with the single set of Gothic characters.

Finally, Pfeffer Mediæval includes a Gothic character set as well.

Runic Alphabet

The Runic alphabet is the Germanic peoples’ oldest writing system. Its origin so far remains unexplained; probably the runes have been developed by the Germani on the basis of Latin or Italo-Etruscan letters. Runes have been in use from the second century up to the fifteenth, insularly even up to the twentieth, century in parts of Scandinavia, while in Germany they already disappeared in the course of Christianisation.

Skeirs covers the complete Runic character set provided by the Unicode system, apparently depicting an effort to harmonise several runic alphabets in a space saving manner. According to their original purpose of being carved rather than written, this font’s runes have straight branches.

The runes of Pfeffer Mediæval are slightly rounder, as this font reflects a hand written Carolingian minuscule.



If you like this site’s choice of fonts or if you would like to comment on it or to make a proposal, feel free to write into my guestbook!

Robert Pfeffer