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Content 1.. Old Style. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2. Italic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 3. Transitional . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 4. Modern1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 5. Egyptian. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 6. Sans Serif. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 7. Letterforms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Old Style Old Style (occasionally referred to as Humanist) typefaces are based on hand lettering of scribes and they first appeared in the late 15th century, before Modern typefaces. Their relation to calligraphy can be seen in the curved strokes and letters with thick to thin transitions, looking somewhat like letters drawn with a pen and ink. Unlike Modern typefaces, the thick/thin transition is moderate and not so obvious.. The serifs on Old Styles are always angled and if you draw a line though the thinnest parts of the letters, you ll see that the stress is diagonal.

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Old Style traits The Old Style (or Garalde) types start to demonstrate a greater refinement—to a large extent augmented by the steadily improving skills of punchcutters. As a consequence the Old Style types are characterised by greater contrast between thick and thin strokes, and are generally speaking, sharper in appearance, more refined. You can see this, perhaps most notably in the serifs: in Old Style types the serifs on the ascenders are more wedge shaped (figure1.1). wedge shaped serifs



more upright stress


Another major change can be seen in the stress of the letterforms (figure 1.2) to a more perpendicular (upright) position. You may remember our old friend, the lowercase e of the Humanist (Venetian) types, with its distinctive oblique (sloping) crossbar; with Old Style types we witness the quite sudden adoption of a horizontal crossbar (figure 1.3). I spent quite a time trying to discover why the lowercase e should change so dramatically. After searching high and low, and opening just about every type book I own, I decided to post the question on Typophile. Space doesn’t permit to recount the entire tale here, but for those interested in such details, then head on over to the Typophile e crossbar thread. (Thanks to Nick Shinn, David et. al. for their valuable input).

horizontal cross bar

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Italic In typography, italic type is a cursive typeface based on a stylized form of calligraphic handwriting. Owing to the influence from calligraphy, such typefaces often slant slightly to the right. Different glyph shapes from roman type are also usually used—another influence from calligraphy. True italics are therefore distinct from oblique type, in which the font is merely distorted into a slanted orientation. However uppercase letters are often oblique type or swash capitals rather than true italics. This style is called " “italic”" for historical reasons.. Calligraphic typefaces started to be designed in Italy, for chancery purposes. Ludovico Arrighi and Aldus Manutius (both between the 15th and 16th centuries) were the main type designers involved in this process at the time.


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Italic traits Some examples of possible differences between roman and italic type, besides the slant, are below.

e whose bowl is curved rather than pointed

a “round� or one-storey 6

None of these differences are required in an italic; some, like the p variant, do not show up in the majority of italic fonts, while others, like the a and f variants, are in almost every italic. Other common differences include:

an f with a tail (known as a descender)

• Double-loop g replaced by single-loop version. • Different closing height where the forked stroke intersects with the stem (e.g. : a, b, d, g, p, q, r, þ). • Bracketed serifs (if any) replaced by hooked serifs. • Tail of Q replaced by tilde (as in, eg. the Garamond typeface). Less common differences include a descender on the z and a ball on the finishing stroke of an h, which curves back to resemble a b somewhat. Sometimes the w is of a form taken from old German typefaces, in which the left half is of the same form as the n and the right half is of the same form as the v in the same typeface. There also exist specialized ligatures for italics, such as a curl atop the s which reaches the ascender of the p in sp. Learning TYPE in Vegas


In addition to these differences in shape of letters, italic lowercases usually lack serifs at the bottoms of strokes, since a pen would bounce up to continue the action of writing. Instead they usually have one-sided serifs that curve up on the outstroke (contrast the flat two-sided serifs of a roman font). One uncommon exception to this is Hermann Zapf’s Melior. (Its outstroke serifs are one-sided, but they don’t curve up.) Outside the regular type there are other italic styles:

True italics



Left-leaning italics Upright italics

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Transitional The Romain du Roi marked a significant departure from the former Old Style types and was much less influenced by handwritten letterforms. Remember, this is the Age of the Enlightenment, marked by resistance to tradition, whether that be art, literature, philosophy, religion, whatever;; so it’΄s no surprise that this same era should give birth to radically different types. The Romain du Roi is often referred to as Grandjeans type, but the designs were produced by a committee* set up by the French Academy of Science. One of the committee members, Jacques Jaugeon — at that time better known as a maker of educational board games — in consultation with other members, produced the designs constructed on a 48x48 grid (2,304 squares. The designs — also known as the Paris Scientific Type — were engraved on copper by Louis Simmoneau, and then handed to the punchcutter Grandjean (not to be confused with the earlier Granjon of course), who began cutting the type in 1698.


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Transitional traits • Vertical or almost vertical stress in the bowls of lowercase letters. If you see (figure 3.1), you may well have noticed a trend here: with the stress, like the minute-hand moving from the humanist axis to rationalist axis at 12 o’clock. (Tip: if you’re trying to approximate the angle of stress, pick the lowercase ‘o’ and draw a line through the two thinnest sections [the actual stress is the fattest parts of the stroke]). • Head serifs generally more horizontal (figure 3.2).

a stressful time

• Greater contrast between thick and thin (sub-) strokes (figure 3.3).

e.g. b, c, d, e, g, o, p, q



ascender (head) serifs

e.g. b, d, h, k, l


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stroke contrast


Modern In typography,, Modern is a style of typeface developed in the late 18th century that continued through much of the 19th century. Characterized by high contrast between thick and thin strokes and flat serifs,, Modern fonts are harder to read than previous and later typestyles. Some later variations of Modern include theSlab Serifs with bolder, square serifs (often considered a separate style altogether) and the related Clarendon style with less contrast and softer,, rounded shapes.


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Modern traits Modern fonts are recognizable by their thin, long horizontal serifs, and clear-cut thick/thin transitions in the strokes. The stress is vertical, i.e. there is no slant on the letters. They tend to look very structured and could be considered cold. Having said that, modern fonts can look really eye-catching and very elegant at large sizes. They are not suitable for large amounts of body text, either on the web or in print. When used for body copy in print, an effect called “dazzling� occurs, the thick lines become very prominent while the thin lines almost disappear. It’s best to keep them for headings and sub-headings.

flat, thin, horizontal serifs on lower case letters.


vertical stress

dramatic difference between thick and thin strokes Learning TYPE in Vegas


Egyptian Egyptienne is a serif typeface belonging to the classification slab serif, or Egyptian,, where the serifs are unbracketed and similar in weight to the horizontal strokes of the letters.. Egyptienne was designed in 1956 by Adrian Frutiger for the Deberny & Peignot Foundry and was the first new text face created for the process of photocomposition. The x-height is high, and some lowercase characters,, especially a and e bear comparison with other Frutiger typefaces,, especially Meridien and Serifa. Egyptienne shows historical influence of the Clarendon faces.


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Egyptian traits The following is a list of some of the attributes of Egyptian Style fonts: • Little contrast of thick and thin in weight of stem and hairline (figure 5.1). • Large body height to lowercast letters. • Thick, squarish or slab serifs (figure 5.2). • Little or no bracketing between stem and serif (figure 5.3). • Vertical stress.




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Sans serif In typography,, a sans-serif, sans serif, gothic, san serif or simply sanstypeface is one that does not have the small projecting features called "“serifs�" at the end of strokes. The term comes from the French word sans, meaning "without". Sans-serif fonts tend to have less line width variation than serif fonts. In print, sans-serif fonts are used for headlines rather than for body text. The conventional wisdom holds that serifs help guide the eye along the lines in large blocks of text. Sans-serifs,, however,, have acquired considerable acceptance for body text in Europe. Sans-serif fonts have become the most prevalent for display of text on computer screens. This is partly because interlaced screens have shown twittering on the fine details of the horizontal serifs. Additionally,, on lower-– resolution digital displays, fine details like serifs may disappear or appear too large.


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Sans serif traits Notice how serif fonts and sans-serif fonts look a bit different; while serif fonts feel pointy, sans-serif fonts are smooth. A serif refers to a small, decorative flourish (often just a tiny line) on the edge of a character, so naturally, a sans-serif font is one without serifs. Here's a comparison between the two, with the serifs highlighted.


S 24


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Letterforms There is a standard set of terms to describe the parts of a character.. These terms, and the parts of the letter they represent, are often referred to as "letter anatomy" or "typeface anatomy. By breaking down letters into parts, a designer can better understand how type is created and altered and how to use it effectively.


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The parts of letterforms Apex: The peak of the triangle of an uppercase A (figure 7.5). Arm: A projecting horizontal stroke that is unattached on one or both ends, as in the letters T and E (figure 7.1). Ascender: A stroke on a lowercase letter yhat rises above the meanwhile (figure 7.2). Counter: The negative space that is fully or partially enclosed by a letterform (figure 7.6). Crossbar: The horizontal stroke coecting two sides of the letterform (as in e, A, and H) or bisecting the main stroke (as in f and t). Eye: The enclosed part of the lowercase e (figure 7.3). Fillet: The contoured edge that connects the serif and stem in backeted serifs. (Bracketed serifs are connected to the main stroke by this curved edge; unbracketed serifs connected to the main stroke with an abrupt angle angle without this contoured transition.) (figure 7.5). Hairline: The thinnest stroke within a typeface that has strokes of varying weights (figure 7.5). Leg: The lower diagonal stroke on the letter k (figure 7.2). Serifs: Short strokes that extend from and at an angle to the upper and lower ends of the major strokes of a letterform (figure 7.6). Spine: The central curved stroke of the letter S (figure 7.4). Spur: A projection-smaller than a serif-thatreinforces the point at the end of a curved stroke, as in the letter G (figure 7.6). Stem: A major vertical or diagonal stroke in the letterform (figure 7.1). Terminal: The end of any stroke that does not terminate with a serif (figure 7.1).


Arm Eye




Terminal Serifs

Leg 7.1 7.2 Apex

Hairline Fillet


7.6 7.5


Crossbar Spur 7.4 Learning TYPE in Vegas


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