Can You Read These Words in Super Fancy Old-Fashioned Lettering?

Kennita Leon

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

If you love writing, and no, we're not talking about stories or journals here, but rather, the actual physical art of writing, then we have the perfect quiz for you. Calligraphy is the art of manually producing handwriting that is decorative. It is often done using fancy pens or brushes, and the finished product is something that is incredibly special and unique.

Unfortunately, we don't have a calligrapher on deck, but we do have some super fancy old lettering that we've found online, and we want YOU to test it out for us. We're going to give you more than a few words in this super fancy font and it's your job to tell us what each word or phrase says. We're not just testing your ability to see here, but this quiz, depending on how many you answer correctly, can tell us just how fancy you really are. 

So if you're up to looking at Rs that have curves and curls for days and Ks whose waves seem to be never-ending, go ahead and get started on this quiz. Will you have the ability to become a calligrapher's assistant, or should you stick to using Times New Roman? Let's find out!

What does this picture say?

There are several types of old fonts. The most popular ones include gothic script, serif fonts, rotunda, Gaelic script and several more.

What word do you see here?

Gothic script is a type of old-fashioned lettering which was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the 1400s.

Does this picture say "snake"?

Gothic script is also known as blackletter or Old English, and is typically suited for short and weighty texts such as heavy-metal band names.

Can you tell us what this says?

This type of alphabet is made up of dramatic and dark letterforms, full of detailed decoration and contrast.

Does this say "elephant" or "electric"?

There are several variations of old lettering which are all characterized by tall, narrow letters with sharp angular lines.

What is this word?

Schwabacher, Fraktur, Hybrida, Donatus-Kalender, Cursiva and Textualis are all forms of Blackletter.

Can you see what this word is?

The Schwabacher Blackletter typeface was the most common typeface in Germany up until the mid-16th century.

What word do these letters spell out?

Schwabacher, which is characterized by its sharp edges, owes its name to the Bavarian town of Schwabach.

What word do you see here?

The Fraktur typeface was introduced in the mid-16th century as a replacement for the Schwabacher typeface.

Can you identify the word shown in the picture for us?

Hybrida script, which was developed in the early 15th century, was a mixture of textualis and cursiva.

Which of the following words is spelled out here?

Donatus-Kalender is a form of textura, This script is featured in the earliest works of Johannes Gutenberg, dating back to the early 1450s.

What word do these fancy letters spell?

Textualis, also known as textura or Gothic bookhand, was widely used in France, England, Germany and the Low Countries.

Which of these words is shown?

In comparison to Carolingian, textualis was characterized by tall and narrow letters which were formed by straight, sharp, angular lines.

What does this super fancy lettering say?

In textualis, letters such as b, d, and h were written vertically and were usually finished off in a sharp, curved end.

Which of the following words do you see in the picture?

The name cursiva refers to a large variety of blackletter, which includes civilité script.

What does this picture say?

In many scripts, the letter I was embellished to the point that it is nearly unreadable to the modern eye.

What word do you see here?

Civilité script was invented by a printer and bookseller, Robert Granjon. Civilité got its name from a book printed in its type - Erasmus' "De Civilitate Morum Puerorum Libellus."

Does this picture say "jungle"?

The word in question is "Mouse." The French cursiva, which was messy, loopy and slanted, was used from the 13th until the 16th century.

Can you tell us what this says?

The Carolingian minuscule is a script which was created partially under the support of Emperor Charlemagne.

Does this say "Eurasia" or "eraser"?

Carolingian minuscule was influenced by the Roman half uncial and the insular scripts which were used in the English and Irish monasteries.

What is this word?

Carolingian minuscule was used extensively by the Holy Roman Empire between 800 AD and 1200 AD.

Can you see what this word is?

Carolingian minuscule characterized by rounded shapes in clearly distinguishable glyphs for legibility.

What word do these letters spell out?

Carolingian minuscule included clear capital letters and spaces between each word.

What word do you see here?

Rotunda is a blackletter script. The medieval script was widely used throughout Europe.

Can you identify the word shown in the picture for us?

The rotunda script, which was derived from Carolingian minuscule, was not regarded as a type of blackletter.

Which of the following words is spelled out here?

Rotunda differs from blackletter in that broken bows only appear in certain letters, such as D.

What word do these fancy letters spell?

There is a medieval script system called insular script, which was invented in Ireland. Missionaries spread the script across Europe.

Which of these words is shown?

Insular script served as the foundation for Irish orthography and modern Garlic scripts.

What does this super fancy lettering say?

The Gaelic type is also known as Irish type, Irish character or Gaelic script. Often initial letters were surrounded by red ink dots.

Which of the following words do you see in the picture?

The first Gaelic type was designed in 1571 and was widely used from the 16th to the 18th century.

What does this picture say?

The creation of the Gaelic alphabet was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I to convert the population from Catholicism to Anglicanism.

What word do you see here?

Characteristics of the Gaelic script includes acute accents on some vowels and a dot above certain consonants.

Can you tell us what this says?

Serif fonts are another category of scripts which were widespread throughout much of Europe.

Does this say "develop" or "devastate"?

There are several variants of serif script, including Humanist, old style and transitional.

What is this word?

The Humanist style, also known as Venetian, was invented in Italy during the 1400s, as a replacement for the German blackletter style.

Can you see what this word is?

Centaur and Johnson are two modern variants of the Humanist style which were designed in 1928 and 1993 respectively.

What word do these letters spell out?

Old Style, which was also referred to as Garalde, was commonly used throughout the 1500s to the 1700s.

What word do you see here?

Transitional script, which was popular during the 1700s, is considered to be the bridge between old style and modern fonts.

What word do these fancy letters spell?

Didone is a serif script with narrow, unbracketed serifs. It became popular in the late 18th century.

Does this picture say "systemic"?

The word is "systems." Many traditional alphabets were decorated by outlining each capital letter, which was then colored in, typically using vermillion red.

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