In the last installment of Typography 101, we talked about some of the different parts and anatomy of letters (View Part 1 , View Part 2). For Part 3 of our series, all of those terms are going to come together to help us describe some of the major typeface classes.
There are countless typefaces out there. Being in an extremely digital age with font generating software quite literally at our fingertips and a Google search away, typefaces and fonts are easier than ever to manufacture. While that doesn’t necessarily mean the creation of good typefaces is an easy endeavor, or that every font you can download from the internet is well designed, it does mean that there is an ever present need to maintain a categorization system. Of course there are plenty of typefaces out there that simply defy categorization, but for the most part, even on an extremely basic level, the vast majority can be categorized into one of the major classes found below.
We are going to be pulling some of the classes and definitions behind them from Typedia. As we stated previously in part 2 of Typography 101, this is a wonderful source for general basics of typography, as well as in depth views on a huge variety of typefaces.
A typeface with serifs (Typedia).
A typeface without serifs (Typedia).
Typefaces based on letters made with a flexible pen or brush, derivative forms (Typedia).
Typefaces based on letters made with a broad-bibbed pen (Typedia).
A script style of calligraphy made with a broad-bibbed pen using vertical, curved and angled strokes. Popular from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance. Styles are often associated with certain countries or regions (Typedia).
Typefaces with an ornate or whimsical appearance, or which simulates non-typographical form (Typedia).
Typefaces which contain pictures or symbols rather than letters and numbers (Typedia).
For this installment of Typography 101, we want to issue a bit of a challenge; now that you know a little more about some of the different typeface classes, can you pick out a typeface you encounter in the world around you for each class we just talked about? Go forth and classify fellow type nerds! Make us proud!
Stay tuned for Part 4 of Typography 101 where we are going to help you bring out your inner designer and go over some tips, tricks and best practices when it comes to dealing with type!
View Part 4: Learning the Basics of Typography: Layout