German Alphabet


The German alphabet is written in Latin. It includes 26 letters. The script also uses the following umlauts: ä, ö, ü and a ligature ß. They are not included in the German alphabet officially.

The German script dates back to the 2nd century; that's when the earliest writing artifacts of the German tribes were found. Apparently, they used the  Runic 16A0–16F8 writing system. As the Christianity was spreading, the Latin alphabet was also travelling, and that's how it ended up with the Germans. By the XII century it was fully established as a writing system.

From the XVI to the XX century, many  Gothic 10330–1034A fonts were created. Actually the Goths had nothing to do with it. The name was given by the members of the Italian enlightenment. They considered these fonts “barbaric” due to the difference from the Roman letters.

One of the letters was called a schwabacher. It originated in the XV century. Later, in the XVII-XVIII centuries, it was replaced with a fracture, which was used in Hitler's Germany until the XX century and even after.

Opposed to Gothic fonts, an antique was created in the middle of the 1460's. It was widely used in Europe, and it was popular in Germany in the 19th century. A lot of fonts were developed in the 20th century by Rudolf Koch, the master of typography. As a matter of fact, the modern inscriptions of the letters are less complex and they look much more elegant.