Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Font Classifications

Old Style - Used late 15th century to early 18th century
            Developed out of handwriting and stone inscription
Modest contrast between thick and thin strokes
Bracketed serifs
­slight diagonal axis 

shorter x-height
scooped serifs, sturdy without being heavy

Examples: Bembo, Caslon, Garamond, Jenson, Palatino

Transitional - Used early and mid 18th century
            Combination of old style characteristics and new styles.
contrast between thick and thin strokes is more pronounced
very slight diagonal stress
bracketed serifs
tall x-height

Examples: Baskerville, Caslon, Perpetua, Bulmer, Bell

Modern - Used late 18th to early 19th century
            Even width amongst the characters.
extreme contrast between thick and thin strokes
flat unbracketed serifs
hairline serifs
no horizontal stress
mathematical construction /measurements

no influence by handwriting

Examples: Bodoni, Bauer Bodoni, Walbaum, Didone

Slab Serif - Used 19th century
            Large x-height
            Based on precise mathematical measurements
block-like serifs
            seldom used in body text, usually used in large headlines and advertisements

Examples: Rockwell, Courier, Memphis Clarendon, New Century Schoolbook

Sans Serif
            usually blacker type color
            Standard in English typography
            Typically used for headlines rather than body text

Examples: Bauhaus, Bank Gothic, Century Gothic, Impact, Helvetica, Futura

Script – Used 18th century
            Based on the varied and fluid stroke created by handwriting
            Similar to cursive writing
            Looser, more casual scripts
Used for announcements, etc.

Examples: Monotype Corsiva, Brush Script, Lucinda Calligraphy, Apple Chancery, Coronet

Blackletter – used 14th and 15th centuries
sometimes called Old English or Gothic script
uses letterspacing for distinction
tall, narrow letters
sharp, straight, angular lines

Examples: Fraktur, Cursiva, Hybrida, Schwabacher

            Weathered, worn, or grundgy appearance
Very extreme
Legibility is difficult

Examples: Scumbag, Inked God, Soul Mission, Black Oak, Ginga Font

Each letter and character occupy the same amount of horizontal space
The first monospaced fonts were designed for typewriters, which could only move the same space forward with each letter typed.
The text will align more readily.
Crisp, clear characters

Examples: Monaco, Letter Gothic, Courier, Consolas, Andale Mono

            Mix between other styles

Examples: Cooper Black, Gotham

Sans Serif or Serif - Serif
Name of the Designer – Firmin Didot
Date it was designed - 1783
Classification – Modern
List its family members: Roman, Italic, Bold...(small caps)

Baseline – invisible line on which the characters sit. Rounded letters such as e may extend below the baseline.

Cap height – distance from the baseline to the top of the uppercase letter.  

x-height – height of a lowercase “x”. It can vary between typefaces.

serif style – serif style typefaces have an extra stroke at the ends of a character, known as a serif. A serif only appears at the end of the main strokes of a letter-form.

stroke width – the thickness of the main diagonal part of a letter. A letter’s relative amount of blackness. Examples: Regular, light

final/terminal – the connection, usually curved, between a stroke and a serif.

barb – small “serifs” at the end of a curved letterform. Example: C, S

spur – A projection smaller than a serif that reinforces the point at the end of a curved stroke, such as G. A spur only occurs at the end of a curved letter-form.

ear – stroke attached to the bowl of the lowercase g. It can be a distinctive element of some typefaces.

loop – the open or enclosed counter. Examples: b, d, g, o, p, q.

link – curved connection between the bowl and the loop of a two-story g.

g one story or two story – g vs. g

tail – descending stroke of a Q. It extends below the baseline and does not contain serifs. Also the downward diagonal stoke on K or R.

apex – top part of a character where two strokes meet. It can be pointed, round, or cut off. Example: A

leg – lower, down sloping stroke of the K, k and R. It touches the baseline.

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