Blue Pencil no. 20—Zapfiana no. 1 update

David Lemon, Senior Manager, Type Development at Adobe, has given me the background on the digital version of Wilhelm Klingsporschrift in the Adobe Type Library:

For better or (mostly) worse, the ‘Adobe’ version was developed by Linotype under our joint Type 1 font development program. They concluded that Americans wouldn’t buy blackletter fonts with traditional forms for some of the characters (perhaps Goudy’s blackletters scared them), so they ‘modernized’ the forms to broaden market appeal. I argued for leaving the traditional forms in the fonts as extras at least—but as you’ll recall in the bad old days of one-byte encodings and apps that dealt badly with anything that wasn’t StandardEncoding, alternate forms were a major pain to handle. (These days it would be trivial to set up a Stylistic Set layout feature.) Since Linotype owned the font, they got the final say—so in this case I’d suggest Adobe is unfairly blamed.

I have updated my original post accordingly. Now, the only question is when Linotype will release a digital version of Wilhelm Klingsporschrift that not only brings back Koch’s correct characters for k, x and X—even if it leaves intact the “American” alternates—but also brings back all of Koch’s alternates, including swash characters and the whole set of condensed capitals.