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Fraktur Mon Amour Imitation Leather – October 3, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

In Blackletter, "Blackletters association with Nazi propaganda cast the type style as the black sheep of typography. But more and more brands are using the style as a way to bring an edgy vibe to their products." -- Sean Ashcroft --How Design:

"I'm happy to confess my weakness for beautiful books like the new love letter to Blackletter typography "Fraktur Mon Amour"though I have to admit it had been some time since I came across one that stopped me in my tracks like this one did. Berlin-based designer Judith Schalansky's presentation of the typeface collection is almost more compelling than the fonts themselves. Bound like a King James Bible for font geeks and printed in contrasting black, white and shocking pink, it makes for a book that's as much a gorgeous object as it is a handy and inspiring resource." -- Brian Fichtner --Cool Hunting Blog, November 7, 2008

"Fraktur Mon Amour is essentially a compendium of currently available digital blackletter fonts (expanded to cover 333 of them) preceded by a few words by Schalansky and supplemented by a CD of 150 free fonts. Since its initial publication in 2006, it has been a raging success. The design, which deliberately thumbs its nose at the standard image of blackletter, is a key factor in that success. The book looks like a Bible with its squat proportions and placemarker ribbons except that its title and its page edges are in hot pink. Although not a shade I like, its choice as a second colour was a brilliant decision. It not only yanks blackletter out of its medieval and unfortunate political associations, but it also signals that blackletter is not inherently masculine or even black. The fonts in Fraktur Mon Amour are a mix of the excellent, the important and the trivial. But this is surely one part of its popularity. Schalansky has brought blackletter to the people. The book is a bold and welcome addition to the sparse literature on blackletter" -- Paul Shaw --Eye Magazine, Spring, 2009

Review

"I'm happy to confess my weakness for beautiful books like the new love letter to Blackletter typography "Fraktur Mon Amour"though I have to admit it had been some time since I came across one that stopped me in my tracks like this one did. Berlin-based designer Judith Schalansky's presentation of the typeface collection is almost more compelling than the fonts themselves. Bound like a King James Bible for font geeks and printed in contrasting black, white and shocking pink, it makes for a book that's as much a gorgeous object as it is a handy and inspiring resource." -- Brian Fichtner
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Product Details

  • Imitation Leather: 648 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (October 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156898801X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568988016
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #484,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Imitation Leather
If you like typefaces, typography, books, printing, or even if you just like beautiful and interesting design, cough up the rather pricey asking-price and buy this book immediately. You will love it. At first glance, it looks like a missal or prayerbook. Unlike missals, however, the page edges are done in PINK rather that red, and that little fillip more or less sums up what this book is about: why serious and foreboding typefaces have become the badge of gangs, rappers, and super-hip types everywhere. And why blackletter is now commonplace in packaging, storefront awnings, and endless other sites.

In addition to the thorough presentation of some 300 typefaces with dates, designers, and origins, you will find a facing-page design using the typeface. Many quite well done and some even exciting. Of course, I'm not the first to find the book spectacular. It won the Type Directors Club of New York's 2007 Award for Typographic Excellence. It should also get some kind of prize for campiest title for a typography book ever.

The book was originally printed in Germany, and at the bottom of each typeface sample page, there is a German text (translated in the introduction). It is quite a ridiculous text, something about a diplomat eating a pie, but in fact many pages have variations on the text, some of which are even more hilarious. Of course, you'll have to be able to read German to appreciate these, so you might want to consult Amazon's selection of German instruction books.

In short, this book is a classic "sleeper." When I ordered it I was expecting a rather straightforward, perhaps dry book about blackletter typefaces. What I got was a thoroughly delightful and entertaining romp through type and design. Yet a book that was also full of information and even scholarly in its details. Not to mention a CD-ROM with 100+ blackletters.

Just be careful, you may find it addictive. I did.
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Format: Imitation Leather
I read a review of this book months ago in Eye magazine, and waited impatiently for the new edition to come out. The wait was worth it. Judith Schalansky's love of blackletter is clear on every page. Each spread shows one blackletter font - the character set and a pangram on the right side, and a graphical arrangement on the left. The new edition contains 333 such spreads, which is an astounding collection. (Who knew there were so many blackletter fonts?) Anyone interested in typography or calligraphy will find this book a delight to page through.

I have only two complaints. First is the paper. It is less opaque than I'd wish, so there's substantial show-through from page to page. (This is hard to avoid; in a book with 720 pages, the paper must be fairly thin.) Additionally, there is a disappointingly high number of flecks in the paper, which can be rather distracting when looking at the type. Second, many of the graphical compositions fail to give much sense of the specific font's "feel", and some are little more than wasted space. However, there are also some which are both intriguing and informative.

I'm glad I got a copy, and thank Ms Schalansky for her dedicated work!
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Format: Imitation Leather Verified Purchase
My friend: "I can make copies of a few of your favorite pages, if you want."
Me: "You'll be making copies for the rest of your natural life. I'll just buy my own."

This is a giant, delightful tome full of what feels like every version of blackletter known to mankind.

Calligraphy practice tip: I often scan and print out increased-size versions of these pages and trace them for lettering practice. Tracing! What blasphemy! Actually, plenty of artists trace—its a great way to learn muscle memory and consistency. Just don't try to pass it off as your own original work, okay?
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By BeForSure on February 27, 2011
Format: Imitation Leather Verified Purchase
I first saw this book at a graphic art store. I pulled it off the shelf because it looked so mysterious, like a very thick old bible. At the time, I did not have the funds to purchase it. I waited patiently and then saw it was on Amazon and I ordered it straight away. I will never regret getting this book. It has been so well laid out, the colors, the style, the mood, it is truly exceptional work. Just flipping through it I have learned so much about layout/pattern design, as a letter from each font has been used to create a graphic on the left, and the full font is displayed on the right. I had no problems seeing the mood of the fonts whatsoever, besides, the book comes with a CD so you can easily see the fonts on your computer. I have already shared this book with several others who were also impressed by the magnitude of fonts and the work that must have gone into the research alone. There was much love put into the creation of this book, and it shows!
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Format: Imitation Leather Verified Purchase
Interesting essays, a wonderful selection of typefaces, almost half of which are on the enclosed CD, and two sewn in bookmarks in the signature colors - what's not to love? This is a really fun resource for graphic design artists as well as calligraphers. In addition to some fairly out-there fonts, there are a number of truly classic one, including the typefaces used by J Gutenberg and Wm Morris. Many thanks to all concerned!
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Format: Imitation Leather
I bought this book from Prairie Lights in Iowa City for $60 and it is worth it! I practice calligraphy every day and was looking for a new set of exercises as most of the books of such tutorials are rather shallow. Months later, not yet have I delved the depth of this tome! Inspiration bon appetit!
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