You Den Let Turn is a love letter to the Blackletter family of typefaces. It's also an examination of a strange moment in German history that continues to have impact today.
A debate raged for centuries in German-speaking lands about which typeface to use in print. Blackletter (known as Fraktur in German) was commonly used in printed books. Words of Latin or foreign origin were printed differently, using a family of typefaces referred to as Antiqua and which we still use today with fonts like Times New Roman.
Around the beginning of the 20th century, Fraktur was associated with German nationalism. When the National Socialists rose to power, they used Fraktur. But all that changed in 1941, when the NSDAP banned all Fraktur typefaces, claiming that the Blackletter typographic family had Jewish origins.
Today, many Germans associate Blackletter with the Far Right, an anomaly considering the historical ban. Tombstones in Jewish cemeteries in Germany commonly had bilingual inscriptions, with Hebrew on one side and German written in Fraktur on the other. It's as if German Jewry tried, even beyond the grave, to demonstrate that they could be German and Jewish at the same time.
Two things remain constant: Fraktur signs continue to exist, and foreigners continue to struggle with the German language. You Den Let Turn is a tribute to both of these struggles, and the final word on the Antiqua-Fraktur-Streit.

Side by side comparison of Martin Bormann's edict prohibiting the use of Fraktur typefaces in Germany from 1941, and the new, adapted version of the text for non-German speakers, 2014. Part of the project You Den Let Turn by Meyrick Kaminski

Side by side comparison of Bormann's text from 1941, and adapted text for non-German speakers, 2014

Photographic documentation of Fraktur typefaces in Germany, listing A to E, by Meyrick Kaminski, as part of the project You Den Let Turn
Photographic documentation of Fraktur signs in Germany - A to E
Photographic documentation of a rare Fraktur sign found in Wittenberge, Germany. Part of the project You Den Let Turn, by Meyrick Kaminski

A rare Fraktur sign found in the wild, Wittenberge, 2016

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