One of the first tasks to which the Nuremberg calligrapher Rudolf Koch
applied himself after completing his apprenticeship in 1898 was the designing of book covers. It was while doing this that he developed his first typefaces. At the same time, he was also pursuing the renewal of ecclesiastical crafts. He designed candlesticks, church furniture and paraphernalia, and his style and the symbols he created continued to dominate Germany’s Protestant churches into the 1960s.
In the years immediately following the First World War, Rudolf Koch had little patience for aesthetics or calligraphy. It was not until around 1924 that he began to write again: first the Book of Job and the Beatitudes in a script that caught the eye of Frankfurt type founder Karl Klingspor. For the printer’s master copy, Koch used ornamental flourishes and ligatures to give the type a lighter feel. And although he would rather have been working on something plainer at the time, his Klingspor
was a success, and went on to become one of the most popular blackletter typefaces.
The font was originally intended to be called Missal or Sebaldus. But in the end it was named after Wilhelm Klingspor
, who died shortly after it was released.
The name of the artist, set in Wilhelm Klingspor Gotisch (Montage: FontShop)