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Re: Font Classification Site


Phan Nguyen <[log in to unmask]>


TYPO-L Discussion of Type and Typographic Design <[log in to unmask]>


Thu, 27 Aug 1998 09:29:05 -0700





TEXT/PLAIN (45 lines)

Matthew asks:
> I'm looking for a good, web-accessable font classification site. Any ideas?

Brian replies:

I think "Trendy" is a good font classification name. :)

Matthew, keep in mind that there are several ideas for font
classification, and all of them have some level of subjectivity.

Everyone should at least know the following classification scheme since
it is used so often. There is no standard mode of classification, and
this scheme is not the most effective, but it is still the most used:

Old Style: oblique axis, little contrast, bracketed serifs.
(Bembo, Centaur, Janson, Jenson, Garamond, Preston)

Transitional: Compared to Old Style, these types have a less inclined or
vertical axis, higher contrast, less bracketing on serifs. Think of this
as a cross between Old Style and Modern, hence Transitional. (Baskerville,
Bell, Bulmer...maybe they all start with B)

Modern: vertical axis, high contrast, little or no bracketing on serifs.
(Bodoni, Didot, Walbaum)

Slab Serif (aka Egyptian): Self-explanatory, kind of. Squarish,
block-like serifs.
(Clarendon, Serifa, Rockwell, Chaparral, Joanna, Scala)

Sans Serif: Really self-explanatory.
(Helvetica, Optima, Frutiger, blah blah)

Display: Types intended for display, as opposed to long-running blocks of
(Mistral, Strayhorn, Dogma, Atomic)

There are always questionable types that don't fit exactly into any one
class. You probably already know all this stuff.

For another classification scheme on the web, try:

Adobe (

And my very own Typography website, which doesn't exist.

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