Type Anatomy: Ana Giles


Anton Koberger Bible

German Bible printed in 1480.

I chose the German Bible copy from 1480 to analyze. This text has a very formal visual presence, with all of the paragraph text printed on a printing press, and the first letter of each chapter handwritten. The same font is used throughout the text. The only thing that is clearly different is again, the handwritten letters at the beginning of each chapter. The letters have a very old, Gothic looking style to them, which would make sense when you consider the year it was made and where it was made at (Germany). The text has serifs that accentuate each letter, but doesn’t overpower the overall text. However, I’m not sure if it’s just because the book is printed in a language that I can’t read, or if it is because the letters are so small and close together, looking at the page could be overwhelming because there is so much going on. There is the use of upper and lowercase throughout the text which does help with the differentiation. Almost all the letters sit on the baseline with the exception of some descending letters  like “g”. What is somewhat odd about this font however is there are not many acceding letters, and if there are, they are very close to the x-height of the lowercase letters. For instance, the “t” is a normal letter that ascends, however in this text, only the serif is above the x-line, which I find interesting. Letters like “l” and “h” are more obviously ascending. There is some contrast between the thick and thin parts, but not much. Most of the letters are the same width throughout. The text also follows a very geometric style, with boxy letters, even where there are letters that we are used to seeing with a smooth bowl, like “a”, “c”, or “o”, there are boxy elements to it with points in between where there would be the peak of a curve. Because of this, the “curved” parts are similar to the straight parts due to the boxy-ness of them.

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