A fast dive into typography Pt.1

Couple of articles about typography was already written on this weblog. At present, I wish to let you know what typography is about and to elucidate some fundamental phrases for increasing your information. Typography is among the most necessary elements of any design (perhaps crucial). It could deliver your work to subsequent stage or take you down.

First let’s have a smalltalk about historical past. Typography first appeared in historic instances. It was used on cash and seals. Extra deal with kind started in medieval instances with begin of print with particular person letter punches. The revolution of kind got here with Johannes Gutenberg and his invention of mechanical printing press. With this expertise, utilizing low cost letter punches in enormous quantity to print a number of copies of textual content, first e book was created – Gutenberg Bible. Subsequent revolution got here in 20th century with computer systems. First private pc that gave more room and selections to designers was Apple’s Macintosh with first design software program. As time went, designers began to create extra experimental typefaces. The value of typefaces was additionally lowered in order that they turned extra obtainable for lots. That is referred to as “democratization of kind”.

Typeface or font?

These two are certainly not similar. Typeface is just set of typographical characters, numbers and symbols (additionally kind households). Font is an entire character set inside typeface. Fonts are additionally particular pc recordsdata that comprise all characters of typeface.

Completely different types of typefaces


Serif typefaces or “serifs” are created by small traces which can be hooked up to the principle strokes of characters throughout the face. They’re most frequently used for physique copy in print paperwork and for physique textual content or headlines on-line. Some designers choose to not use them for larger blocks of textual content as a result of their readability on-line is commonly questioned.

Serifs comprise many sub-types. Previous Model serifs (additionally referred to as humanist) are the oldest ones. Some had been created in 15th century. Their predominant attribute is diagonal stress (the thinnest elements of the letters seem on the angled strokes, moderately than the vertical or horizontal ones). Examples: Adobe Jenson, Centaur and Goudy Previous Model.

Transitional serifs first appeared within the mid of 1700s. They’re the commonest serif typefaces. The variations between thick and skinny strokes in transitional typefaces are extra pronounced than they’re in outdated type serifs, however much less so than in fashionable serifs.

Examples: Instances New Roman, Baskerville, Caslon, Georgia and Bookman

Fashionable serifs have extra distinction between skinny and thick traces, even have a vertical stress.

Examples: Didot and Bodoni.

The final kind of serif typeface is slab serif. Slab’s have little or no distinction between thick and skinny traces plus thick, rectangular serifs and typically mounted widths.


Sans-Serifs lack serif particulars on characters. These typefaces are sometimes extra fashionable in look than serifs. They had been created within the late 18th century.

There are 4 fundamental classifications of sans-serif typefaces: Grotesque, Neo-grotesque, Humanist, and Geometric. Grotesques are the earliest. These typefaces typically have letterforms similar to serif typefaces, minus the serifs.

Examples: Franklin Gothic and Akzidenze Grotesk.

Neo-grotesque typefaces have a comparatively plain look when in comparison with the grotesques.

Examples: MS Sans Serif, Arial, Helvetica and Univers.

Humanist typefaces are extra calligraphic and likewise probably the most legible than different sans-serif typefaces – they’ve a larger variation in line widths.

Examples: Gill Sans, Frutiger, Tahoma, Verdana, Optima and Lucide Grande.

Geometric sans-serifs are based mostly on geometric shapes. Typically, the “O”s will seem round and the letter “a” is commonly only a circle with a tail. They’re the least commonly-used for physique copy and likewise probably the most fashionable sans-serifs.


Scripts are based mostly on handwriting and has very fluid letterforms. They’re divided into two fundamental classifications – formal and informal.

Formal are harking back to the handwritten letterforms which you’ll find within the seventeenth and 18th century. They’re fashionable creations, too, for instance Kuenstler Script. They’re frequent for elegant typographical designs and are unsuitable for physique copy.

Informal extra carefully resemble fashionable handwriting. Their roots are again within the mid-twentieth century. They’re a lot much less formal, typically with stronger strokes and a extra brush-like look.

Examples: Mistral and Brush Script.


Show typefaces are, I suppose, the broadest class which additionally embrace probably the most variation. Their are unsuitable for physique copy. The perfect is to make use of them for headlines or different brief copy that wants consideration. These typefaces will be formal, or casual and evoke any form of temper. They’re extra frequent in print design, however are used increasingly on-line with the usage of web fonts.

Dingbats and different Specialty Typefaces

The final ones are dingbats and specialty typefaces. These include symbols and ornaments as an alternative of letters.

Instance: Wingdings




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