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Examples of identifying type

We have learned that we can identify type from its structure. The following table sums up this information:


Serif Transition Stress
Oldstyle Slanted on lower-case letters Moderate Diagonal
Modern Thin horizontal serifs on lower-case letters Extreme Vertical
Sans-serif No serifs No or little transition No stress
Slab Serif Thick slab-like serifs None or little transition Vertical

Remember that the purpose of this exercise is to use contrasting type, not to be academic. And the real purpose of classifying type here, is to get you to look at type and be able to articulate its qualities. The real rule of combining type is to use contrasting faces, not to mechanically apply rules about classes. It is always easy to pick out sans-serif and serif type. So we can always use a serif and a sans-serif!


This is an example of Garamond

The above is an example of Garamond. We might wish to write out the alphabet to get a clearer picture of this type. However, let's just write it bigger below:

This is an Example of Garamond

The serifs are slanted and are like the marks made by a knib. However, transition is more than moderate, and the stress is vertical. Let's compare it with another type:

This is an Example of Baskerville Handcut

We notice at once that the transitions are extreme. This suggests a modern type because at the time this type was used, paper quality had improved so that thin lines could be accommodated. The serifs are rather horizontal, but are also like the marks made by a knib. The stress is vertical. I think that both Garamond and Baskerville are the same class of type. I'd say they were oldstyle. Let's compare them with another font face:

This is an Example of Times New Roman

The transition is moderate. The serifs are oldstyle knib marks and the stress is diagonal. This is definitely an oldstyle face. Another face:

This is an Example of Georgia

Georgia has moderate transitions and knib-like serifs. Its stress is vertical. However, it is clearly oldstyle.

This is an example of elephant

Elephant has extreme transitions. Its serifs are rather like thin horizontal lines. The stress is vertical. It is a good example of modern style type.

Home --> How to classify type --> Rules of Using Type --> Examples of Identifying Type --> Contrasting Type --> Other things about type (Some definitions) --> Letter Spacing (Kerning) --> Tracking

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