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I'm happy to confess my weakness for beautiful books like the new love letter to Blackletter typography "Fraktur Mon Amour"—though I have to admit it had been some time since I came across one that stopped me in my tracks like this one did. Berlin-based designer Judith Schalansky's presentation of the typeface collection is almost more compelling than the fonts themselves. Bound like a King James Bible for font geeks and printed in contrasting black, white and shocking pink, it makes for a book that's as much a gorgeous object as it is a handy and inspiring resource.

All too often, books on graphic design and typography tend to favor elaborate and confusing layouts but Fraktur Mon Amour's elegance has the effect of a metered poem rather than the chaotic free-verse of others. Compiling 300 variations on Blackletter fonts (137 of which are included on a CD), Schalanksky's tome provides a complete alphabet and historical data for each version along with a typographic composition on every facing page. It's beautiful, simple and, well, downright sexy as far as books go.

Blackletter, also known as Fraktur or Gothic type, dates back to the Middle Ages. Though it fell out of favor by the end of the Renaissance, its widespread use in Germany persisted until World War II, when it was banned by the Nazis because it was thought to be a Jewish invention. Recent years have seen a resurgence in the usage of Blackletter fonts, from newspapers and posters to branding and album art.

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We've scored an extra copy of Fraktur Mon Amour to give one lucky Cool Hunting reader who can cite the best (according to us) example of Blackletter usage today. Simply go to the bottom of the page, click on Contact and select "Fraktur Mon Amour Giveaway" from the drop-down menu. We'll pick our favorite submission from entries received before 11:59 pm EST on 10 November 2008.

The book is also available from Amazon or Chronicle Books.

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