Blackletter types (sometimes called "Gothic") were the letterforms used by Gutenberg in the 15th century. Blackletter forms are tall, calligraphic and segmented compared to the forms more familiar to us, which Germans call "antiqua." For example, a lowercase "o", circular in antiqua type, appears as a tall hexagon in blackletter type. In central Europe, traditional blackletter printing still thrived into the 20th century, but was increasingly crowded by publishing in antiqua.
Consequentially, debates were staged in German books and even in the German parliament (1911) about the appropriateness of blackletter. While proponents argued that the internationally employed antiqua was easier to read, blackletter supporters emphasized the "German" quality of their preferred types.
Many of the designs of the German calligrapher and type designer Rudolf Koch (1876-1934) are updates of the blackletter form. They proudly acknowledge the German blackletter tradition while altering the letters toward simplicity and legibility in an effort to make them work for modern times.