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What is the Irrlicht font?

Irrlicht is based on C. H. Kleukens’ 1923 typeface Judith Type. Whilst Dunkle Irrlicht is a fairly faithful rendition and extension of Kleukens’ typeface, the Licht style was initially added as a stand-alone stencil version; yet, the two styles work perfectly together – for different nuances, for emphasis or simply stacked/layered.
Irrlicht is equipped with upper- and lowercase ligatures, contextual and stylistic alternates, fractions, superior and inferior figures, extended language support and a few extra goodies.
Additional information – How Irrlicht came to life More…
Christian Heinrich Kleukens cut his Judith Type in 1923, at the peak of German expressionism, exclusively for publications with the Ernst-Ludwig-Press, such as a limited series of biblical prints – the first being the Book of Judith, hence the original’s name.
I stumbled upon this typeface a couple of years ago in a nice little 1930 booklet of the Gutenberg-Gesellschaft and was struck by its forceful darkness on paper and its seemingly simple, crude letterforms. The lack of a long-ſ in the final version of Judith Type – quite unusual for a German typeface of that time – adds to this feel of crudeness and spontaneity*. Judith Type seemed to me like a semi-blackletter cousin of Rudolf Koch’s typeface Neuland (cast in the same year). Besides its apparent affinity with expressionism, it reflects a lot of that deeply spiritual craftsmanship of the era – much like Neuland.
A few months later, when I was working on a stencil project and looking for a typeface that could be cut into thin wooden plates easily, I remembered those dark, sharp letters that seemed to be lacking any curves at all.
After enlarging a few letters and tracing them by hand, the whole set was redrawn digitally, using only straight lines. As for spacing, the goal was to keep the letters tight but to avoid touching characters – without ironing out all the original’s tension and rhythm. Deliberate kerning, subtle contextual alternates and ligatures help to deal with critical glyph combinations.
Two additional versions were developed: a stencil version with open counters and, in reference to a popular style of the 1920s and inspired by dry, cracked wood, an inline version. These two additional styles were later merged into one font – Lichte** Irrlicht was born. — AARHAUS
* Consequently, the original typeface’s German eszett is simply a ligature of the “round s” and standard z. In some of his publications, Kleukens dispenses with using eszett altogether and sets double s instead. Irrlicht, however, does feature a more common eszett (ß); the original, among other more faithful letter forms, can be accessed via the stylistic sets feature
** licht – literally bright – being the German term for inline typefaces – not to be confused with leicht (light)

Irrlicht Font families

The Irrlicht includes the following font families:

  • Irrlicht Dunkle
  • Irrlicht Lichte

Irrlicht Preview

Here is a preview of how Irrlicht will look. For more previews using your own text as an example, click here.

You're probably thinking - Is Irrlicht available to Download for free?

The short answer is no. Irrlicht is definitely not available as a free download font. This is a premium font which mean that you will have to pay to download and use it in your project. We showcase fonts on SharedFonts that are almost all premium fonts. Feel free to waste valuable hours of your time searching for a free download of Irrlicht, but take it from me, you will not be successful in your quest. Just think how much time and effort you will save if you just pay for Irrlicht and be done with it.

It is always best to pay for a premium font rather than trying to find an illegal download. The benefits of paying for Irrlicht is that you get the license to use it leagally. If you're using an illegal version of Irrlicht and you get caught, you or your client could get into some trouble legally with the publisher of Irrlicht. Also it is highly unlikely that you'll be able to find Irrlicht for free. Doing various searches on Google such as "Free Irrlicht Download" you will see a lot of websites that will say "Free Download" but these are just attempts to get you to click on a link which will either take you to an ad landing page or you risk getting viruses on your computer. In the rare occasion that you do find a free download for Irrlicht remember that it's illegal to use a font if you didn't pay for it!

If you really want Irrlicht and you want to truly own it the legal and safe way, then click here to visit the download and purchase page on Here you will be able to obtain the proper license. The designer and publisher deserves to be paid for their work, as they have put in the hours and the creativity to produce such an amazing font. Good luck with your purchase and future use of this font. :)