It is 200 years ago now since the Grimms’ Fairy Tales were published for the first time. My studio mate Frank Flöthmann (2F) spent the last couple of months on a book project which presents the tales by the Grimm brothers in a completely new way: ohne Worte – without words. I am thrilled that his comic book is finally available. This is what Frank writes on his blog:
I converted sixteen of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales into pictographic comics, using graphic symbols instead of words. The beautiful and funny book is aimed at educated adults but is suitable for their spoiled children as well. Order now from an online trader of your choosing. Or, if you consider them heartless, exploiting monopolists, attend an actual bookstore. The latter may include taking a refreshing walk, supporting local business and meeting actual people that will live happily ever after.
Even a book without words needs a title on the cover. Frank aimed for a typographic solution that on the one hand alluded to German romanticism, but on the other matched his contemporary, unfussy and clear-cut illustration style. I was happy to be able to point him to Rostrot.
This modernized blackletter started out in 2006 as a graduation project at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Georg Seifert tried to answer the question how Fraktur typefaces would have looked like today, if they hadn’t fallen out of fashion. In Georg’s hands, the old Teutonic letterforms had to undergo the same stylistic shifts and transformations as Roman typefaces did: less ornamentation, a simplified construction, and a drastically reduced contrast. The result is a “grotesque” monolinear blackletter, Rostrot, and its “seriffed” sister style with some contrast, RosenRot. The fonts were never officially published, but come bundled with Judith Schalansky’s book Fraktur Mon Amour.
Frank slightly modified the letterforms, for he found that, at this size, Rostrot Dynamisch’s terminals looked more lively when sheared diagonally.