Classification of Type

Classifications of type you will need to become familiar with for this class.

The typographic form has evolved and in order to effectively analyze this typographic evolution, the design of type characters over the last five and a half centuries is most often broken down into classifications of common visual Characteristics, called families of type:
Old Style
(15th-17th century)
Example Typefaces: Bembo • Garamond • Caslon • Jenson
Transitional (Neoclassical)
(mid 18th century)
Example Typefaces: Baskerville • Cheltenham • Bookman • Romain du Roi
Modern (Didon)
(late 18th century)
Example Typefaces:: Bodoni • Didot • ITC Fenice
Slab Serif (Egyptian)
(19th century)
Example Typefaces: Clarendon • Memphis • Rockwell • Century
Sans Serif
(19th-20th century)
Example Typefaces: Futura • Helvetica • Universe • Akzidenz Grotesk • Frutiger
Cursive
Example Typefaces: Bickham • Edwardian Script ITC • Choc • Brush Script
Display
(19th-20th century)
Example Typefaces: Leafy Glade • Plexifont • Chausson • Phosphate

Old Style
(15th-17th century)
Example Typefaces: Bembo • Garamond • Caslon • Jenson
Oldstyle Characteristics

• Designed in a time when inks and paper were coarse and type technology was still rather rough
• Relatively thick strokes and heavily bracketed or curved serifs
• Emulated classical calligraphy
• Minimal variation of thick and thin strokes
• Small, coarse serifs, often with slightly concave bases
• Small x-heights.
• In the round strokes, the stress is diagonal, or oblique, as their designs mimic the hand-held angle of the pen nibs of the scribes.
• Tops of lowercase ascenders often exceed the height of the capital characters.
• Numerals, called old style figures, vary in size and have ascenders and descenders.

Transitional (Neoclassical)
(mid 18th century)
The typefaces of this period represent the initial departure from centuries of Old Style tradition and immediately predate the Modern period.
Example Typefaces: Baskerville • Caslon • Cheltenham • Bookman • Romain du Roi
Transitional Characteristics

• Designed in a time when inks and paper were considerably smoother and type technology was refined
• Strokes and the serifs are more sculpted
• Sharper serifs and more vertical axis
• Greater contrast between thick and thin stokes.
• Wider, gracefully bracketed serifs with flat bases.
• Larger x-height
• Vertical stress in rounded strokes
• The height of capitals matches that of ascenders.
• Numerals are cap-height and consistent in size.


Modern (Didon)
(late 18th century)
Example Typefaces:: Bodoni • Didot • ITC Fenice
Modern Characteristics

• Designed in a time when printing technology was refined by leaps and bounds
• Extreme contrast between stokes and hairlines
• Brackets virtually eliminated
• Hairline serifs without bracketing
• Small x-height
• Vertical stress in rounded strokes

Slab Serif (Egyptian)
(19th century)
Example Typefaces: Clarendon • Memphis • Rockwell • Century

Slab Serif Characteristics
• Type design, freed from technical constraints, became eclectic
• Very little contrast between thin and thick strokes
• Heavy serifs with squared-off ends
• Large x-heights.
• Vertical stress in rounded strokes

Sans Serif
(19th-20th century)
Example Typefaces: Futura • Helvetica • Universe • Akzidenz Grotesk • Frutiger

The families of type represent more than 500 years of development and each family displays distinct visual Characteristics. These Characteristics are basic to visual communication with type.
Sans Serif Characteristics
• Little or no variation between thick and thin strokes
• Lack of serifs
• Larger x-height
• No stress in rounded strokes\

Cursive
Example Typefaces: Bickham • Edwardian Script ITC • Choc • Brush Script
Also known as script, among other name, is any style where some characters are written joined together in a flowing manner in contrast to block letters.

Cursive Characteristics
• Formal cursive is generally joined, but casual cursive is a combination of joins and pen lifts. Can be further divided as “looped”, “italic” or “connected”.

Display
(19th-20th century)
Example Typefaces: Leafy Glade • Plexifont • Chausson • Phosphate

The families of type are intended for use at large sizes for headings, logotypes, posters, headings on websites, magazines, or book covers rather than for extended passages of body text

Display Characteristics
• Often have more eccentric and variable designs.
• May take inspiration from handpainted signs, calligraphy., ornamented, exotic, abstracted. • • Can be a serif font, slab serif, script, sans serif, etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *