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Antiqua (typeface class)

Antiqua is a style of text used to mimic the hand. Antiqua, Blackletter, Fraktur, and Textura are all examples of Handwriting text or Old Style text.[citation needed]


Antiqua typefaces are those designed between about 1470 and 1600, specifically those by Nicolas Jenson and the Aldine roman commissioned by Aldus Manutius and cut by Francesco Griffo. Antiqua letterforms were modelled on a synthesis of Roman inscriptional capitals and Carolingian writing. They are also known as Venetian types and occasionally as old style, differentiated from modern styles by the more or less uniform thickness of all strokes and by slanted serifs. The term "Antiqua" later came to sometimes be used for Roman type in general as opposed to blackletter, as in the Antiqua-Fraktur dispute in the German-speaking world.[citation needed]


Berne Nadall (born February 28, 1869) - Caslon Antiqua (1896–1898). An American designer [1]

Hermann Zapf (born November 8, 1918- ) - Zapf Renaissance Antiqua (1984–1987). Created many different fonts over the years [2]

Paul Renner (1878–1956) - Renner Antiqua (1939). Paul Renner also created the typeface Futura.[3]

Vojtěch Preissig (1873–1944), a Czech designer who did significant work on book and type design - created 'Preissig Antiqua' for Czechoslovakia type designs. Designers in Czechoslovakia felt that they should have a specific typeface that represented the Czech design culture. Preissig created 'Preissig Antiqua' roughly around the early 20th Century that would influence the style of print and type designs not only in Czechoslovakia, but also all over Europe in general.[4]

Forms and types

Antiqua's Germanic opposite is blackletter, in which the letter forms are broken or fractured. In 19th- and 20th-century Germany there was a dispute over whether German should be written in Antiqua or the highly developed Fraktur blackletter. In 1911, the German Reichstag rejected an official switch by only three votes: 85 to 82. Hitler advocated a switch in 1934 but took no action until 1941 when a decree by Martin Bormann outlawed the use of blackletter in Germany in favour of Antiqua.
Preissig Antiqua
Made by Vojtěch Preissig (1873-1944), a type designer and writer.
Renner Antiqua
Made by Paul Renner, Revived by Patrick Strietzel (1939) Crafted at D. Stempel AG Foundry.[5]
Zapf Renaissance Antiqua
Made by Hermann Zapf, Typeface Designer.


A facsimile of Nicolas Jenson's roman type used in Venice c. 1470. The abstracted long "s" (resembling a barless "f") fell out of use in the 19th century.

See also


  • Nesbitt, Alexander The History and Technique of Lettering (c) 1957, Dover Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-486-20427-8, Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number: 57-13116. The Dover edition is an abridged and corrected republication of the work originally published in 1950 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. under the title Lettering: The History and Technique of Lettering as Design.
  1. ^ The Inline Printer (Page 382), Designer and Engravers of type by William E.Loy No. XXVII -- Berne Nadall <>
  2. ^ Wikipedia, Hermann Zapf URL:
  4. ^ "Vojtěch Preissig's types for Czech alphabets." University of St. Thomas – A private, Catholic liberal arts university in Minnesota — University of St. Thomas : Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 December 2011. <>
  5. ^ Linotype, RENNER ANTIQUA-Renner Antiqua – Reviving a serif typeface from the designer of Futura – PAUL RENNER URL: