Gutenberg’s type resembles a commonly used script known as “Textura” or “Black Letter Gothic.” The Bible is colored with red and blue inks, which were added by the purchaser after the printing was complete. Red strokes were used throughout to indicate the beginning of a verse. Explore the treatment of the words that appear on the pages of this Bible by looking for the following:

Rubrication (the process of coloring in red)

Rubrics (chapter headings or instructions in red that are not strictly part of the text)


Gutenberg made 300 different pieces of type. Of the 300 pieces he made, some were ligatures (letters linked to each other) and there were approximately 125 abbreviation sorts (symbols for abbreviations common to the fifteenth-century scribe).

Biblia latina (Bible in Latin), Mainz, Johann Gutenberg, 1455. Otto Vollbehr Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

Gutenberg Bible

Gutenberg Bible

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