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Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Typographic Classifications

1. Old Style/ Humanist

  • developed 15th/16th centyry
  • Low contrast in stroke weight and angled serifs
  • Emulated classical caligraphy
  • *Examples – Garamond, Sabon, Jenson, Goudy, Palatino

2. Transitional

  • High contrast in thick and things
  • More vertical axis and sharper serifs than Humanist
  • More abstract & less organic
  • *Examples – Baskerville, Times New Roman, Bookman, Century, Utopia

3. Modern ( or Didone)

  • Late 18th/early 19th century
  • High contrast of stoke, straight serifs, totally vertical axis
  • More abstract & less organic
  • *Examples – Bodoni, Didot, Walbum
(these 3 groups correspond roughly to the Renaissance, Baroque, and Enlightenment periods)

4. Slab-Serif (Egyptian)

  • Heavy serifs & used for decorative purposes and headlines
  • The heavy serifs impeded legibility at small point sizes
  • *Examples – Clarendon, Serifia, Rockwell

5. Sans Serif (traditional sans)

  • More upright axis & a uniform stroke
  • *Examples – Helvetica, Univers, Franklin Gothic, Akzidenz, Grotesque

-Geomtric Sans

  • based on geometric forms
  • *Examples – Futura, Neutraface, Avant Garde, Gotham

- Humanist Sans

  • Modeled on old style typefaces, open strokes, and slightly higher contrast
  • *Examples – Meta, Myriad, Frutiger, Auto, Gill Sans
Posted by Amanda Fairchild on October 5, 2012

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