Letterforms from the edge of Europe, 700–1200


For those living in Europe during the early Middle Ages, this continent was a world in turmoil. Peoples were moving, coming from the east and driving before them those whose territories they entered. The Romans withdrew to to the south, and the Celts, for example, retreated to the outer Atlantic seaboard. Meanwhile several scripts were developed, such as the Runes, and lowercase grew up beside capitals. The capitals of the period reflect the movements and mixing of the peoples and their cultures, with insular and mediterranean elements, and also the alphabetic remains of the Roman occupation of Britain and Europe north of the Alps. Missionaries from the British Isles brought this mixture to the European mainland, where parts of it remained in use till the end of the twelfth century. Several present day type designers have shown an interest in these letterforms. Now again peoples are on the move, from individuals to large groups, this time among almost all continents, and cultures are being mixed, including scripts. — A comparison.