Gryffensee by Catharsis Fonts (Christian Thalmann) is designed to be the Futura of blackletter, combining the time-honored gravity and relentlessness of the Gothic script with the clean, contemporary freshness of the geometric sans. Built from a tightly controlled inventory of lines, arcs, sharp cuts, and OpenType features, Gryffensee was born and raised in the digital age, yet retains the powerful charisma and human warmth of its mediaeval blackletter ancestors. As a result, it excels in a wide range of display settings, logotypes, and short text. Unlike most conventional blackletters, it even handles all-caps usage with grace, and includes an extensive Cyrillic character set (in the Pro version).
Apart from a generous range of automatic ligatures and contextual alternates, Gryffensee offers stylistic alternates that allow users to customize its appearance to their tastes. The capital letters AGHIKZ come in alternate cuts that trade traditional shapes for increased legibility, while the letter s appears in three cuts, each with a unique, distinct flavor. All these options are accessible through OpenType stylistic sets in the main Latin font, Gryffensee Eins. For easy use in applications without OpenType support, we provide two additional Latin fonts (Gryffensee Zwei and Drei) in which these options replace the default cuts. Finally, Gryffensee Pro offers all the functionality of Gryffensee Eins, plus Cyrillic support.
My intention to devise a contemporary geometric blackletter was inspired by four hand-painted letters, ABCD, in Sasha Prood’s online portfolio. I later found out that he had, in turn, taken those letters from an existing font, Bastard, by Jonathan Barnbrook. Luckily, by that time my project had taken on a life of its own. Gryffensee is an original design that bears only the most superficial resemblance to Bastard. Gryffensee is a mediaeval spelling of the lake Greifensee near which I grew up. It is pronounced [ˈgriːfənˌseː], or "GRIEF-un-say" in English approximation.
Gryffensee Pro makes the rich tradition of blackletter available to the Cyrillic-writing world.
Gryffensee was made using the Glyphs application. I am grateful to the helpful souls on the Typophile and TypeDrawers forums who gave me invaluable feedback. This font is dedicated to Simone.