5 different Serifs and how to distinguish them

Basically we distinguish fonts in serif fonts, san serif fonts, scripts, black letter and others.

Origin of all fonts are not only cuneiform and hieroglyphs and later Rustic Capitals. I would call this font history, might be interesting too. Origin of today’s fonts is writing letters with a quilt. If you look at serif fonts you can clearly imagine the way the monk has wrote the letters with his quilt. When he started to write, set the quilt, formed the letter.

Letters and fonts developed throughout the centuries. Each time has its own way to deal with fonts and writing, tastes and specifics.

Easy for us to distinguish.

Today we will have a closer look at Serif Fonts.

Old Style or Humanist

Fonts from the beginning of the printing area around 1450 to 1530.

The serif are slightly concave and the edges are rounded.
In Germany we call this font class: Venetian-Renaissance Antiqua

Famous Humanist Fonts

  • Jenson
  • Centaur
  • Weidemann
  • Giovanni


A Development of Humanist Fonts, the serif is straight but the edges are still rounded.

Birth of Garalde is around end of 17th century.
The German name is French-Renaissance Antiqua

Famous Garalde Fonts

  • Bembo
  • Garamond
  • Sabon
  • Minion
  • Palatino
  • Gentium


A link between the old style fonts and some more constructed fonts of the 19th century.

In Germany Transitional is called Baroque Antiqua. The Serifs are very straight and the edges are just slightly rounded.

Most fonts have been created around middle of 17th century and 18th century.

Famous Transitional Fonts

  • Caslon
  • Baskerville
  • Cochin
  • Times


First fonts which can be called Didone fonts have been created around 1800.

The serifs are straight and the edges are not rounded at all.
The German name refers to the age of Classicism – Classical Antiqua.

Famous Didone Fonts

  • Bodoni
  • Wallbaum
  • Centennial

Slab Serif

The most modern Serif-Style – first created in 19th century.

Stroke width and serifs are quite similar.

Famous Slab Serif Fonts

  • Egyptienne
  • PMN Caecilia
  • Clarendon
  • Rockwell


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