To serif or not to serif

Most people think typography is about fonts.

Most designers think typography is about fonts.

Typ
ogra
phy
is more than that, it’s expressing language through type.

Placement, composition, typechoice.”

-Mark Boulton


In my last post, I ended with a brief teaser of what I’m going to talk about in this post which is fonts! Fonts are one of the designers best tools and yet, can be very mysterious and confusing to some. There are a few terms to go over before getting to far along in this discussion:

Typeface: a coordinated set of glyphs designed with stylistic unity. A typeface usually comprises an alphabet of letters, numerals, and punctuation marks.

Font: traditionally defined as a complete character set of a single size of a particular typeface. For example, 10 point Arial is a different font than 9 point Arial. Since the invention of desktop publishing, the term font has become synonymous with typeface.

Serif: A serif is a non-structural detail on the end of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols. The image below show red arrows pointing to the sarifs. A few popular serif fonts are: Palatino, Georgia, Times, Garamond and Baskerville.

serif

Sans-serif: Sans-serif fonts and just fonts without the serif details on the letterforms. The image below is a sans-serif font. A few popular sans-serif fonts are Helvetica, Arial, Univers, Futura, and Lucida Grande.

Sans Serif

Font Weight: The different weights of a font are commonly regular, italic, bold, and bold italic.

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David Gnojek

I'm the art director/designer for the KU Center for Research on Learning. I also enjoy photography and music.
  • http://stratepedia.org/ Amber

    I think I breathed a sigh of relief when I switched to the revised flier! Thanks for the information….I never knew about the differences between font and typeface.

  • http://stratepedia.org/ Amber

    I think I breathed a sigh of relief when I switched to the revised flier! Thanks for the information….I never knew about the differences between font and typeface.

  • http://pc.de/fonts/ Katie Mercado

    Absolutely perfect.many thanks for explanation and for book as well.

  • http://www.islandeye.co.uk/ Island Eye

    Absolutely perfect.many thanks for explanation and for book as well.