Classification

Many people and companies have tried hard to describe and classify typefaces.

The most common method is the one introduced by ADOBE,  which you can see in the picture below. However, many font styles are missing from the key system of type classification called VOX, named after the Frenchman, Maximilien Vox.

Type Classification

SERIF: typefaces with semi-structural details (serif) on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols; widely used in traditional printed material such as books and newspapers.

SANS SERIF: typefaces “without serifs”; highly legible for both display and text use.

SLAB SERIF: born out of the Industrial Revolution, these typefaces have little, if any, contrast between thick and thin lines; serifs have no brackets; extremely effective for commanding readers’ attention.

DIDONE: Serif typefaces characterised by extreme contrast between thick and thin lines.

MONOSPACED: Sans Serif typefaces with fixed widths (all characters occupy the same amount of horizontal space as with a typewriter).

DISPLAY: typefaces that are most effective when used at large size for display purposes, such as headlines and titles, posters and billboards.

SCRIPT:  typefaces that mimic handwriting techniques by joining letters with connecting lines.

BLACK LETTERS: referred to as Old English or Gothic, they were used for text in Germany until World War II (font FRAKTUR); today they are primarily used as display typeface.

OUTLINE/INLINE/ STENCIL: these display typefaces have a special design appearance on the face of the letters, like highlighted, engraved or “tooled” on the left side of the character strokes.

SYMBOLS: typeface that can add a finishing touch to a project or help with specialised tasks; the most famous is ZAF DINGBAT of Hermann Zapf.