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The Principles of Typeface Classification


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The Type Classification is the nomenclature that defines characteristics of Typeface. The classification system was derived in the 17th century where typography was divided into five broad categories – Humanist, Old Style, Transitional, Modern, Slab Serif or Egyptian and Sans Serif – based on different characteristics. Today, a number of variation of this system exist but the basis remains the same. Let’s dive into the lingua franca of typography and gain greater understanding of what different types entail.

The Principles of Typeface Classification

  1. 1. THE PRINCIPLES OF TYPEFACE CLASSIFICATION The ABCD to get acquainted with Typography Classifications
  2. 2. AaBbCcDdEe Crossbar on the lowercase ‘e’ with a slope. Little variation between ‘thick’ and ‘thin’ strokes. The x-height is comparatively small.
  3. 3. AaBbCcDdEe Wedge shaped serif. Horizontal crossbar on the lowercase ‘e’. Contrast between ‘thick’ and ‘thin’ strokes. The upright stress is significant.
  4. 4. AaBbCcDdEe Greater contrast between ‘thick’ and ‘thin’ strokes. Ascender Serifs are usually more horizontal. Vertical or almost vertical stress is evident in lowercase letters.
  5. 5. AaBbCcDdEe High contrast between ‘thick’ and ‘thin’ strokes. Relatively thin serif with horizontal stress. Small aperture. Vertical axis.
  6. 6. AaBbCcDdEe Little or no contrast. Thin serifs, no brackets. The x-height is higher.
  7. 7. AaBbCcDdEe No contrast. San Serifs are mono-weight. No serifs.
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