Vox-ATypI Classification / Type Classification

  • Classical Humanist

    These typefaces sought to imitate the formal hands found in the humanistic (renaissance) manuscripts of the time. These typefaces, rather round in opposition to the gothics of the Middle Ages.

    Short and thick bracketed serifs
    Slanted cross stroke on the lowercase ‘e’
    Ascenders with slanted serifs
    Low contrast between horizontals and verticals.
    Examples: Centaur and Cloister.

  • Classical Garalde

    Also called Aldine
    Finer proportions than the humanists
    Stronger contrast between downstroke and upstroke
    The weight of the garaldes are distributed according to an oblique axis
    Examples: Bembo, and Garamond.

  • Classical Transitional

    Contrast between main and connecting strokes is marked even more than in the first two groups
    Weight is distributed according to a quasi-vertical axis
    Examples: Baskerville, and Times Roman.

  • Modern Didone

    A very strong contrast between full and connecting strokes (the connecting strokes being extremely fine)
    The verticality of the characters
    Unbracketed, hairline serifs
    Shouts at you
    Examples: Bodoni and Walbaum.

  • Modern Mechanistic

    Also called mechanical, slab serif, or mécanes
    Very low contrast
    Rectangular slab serifs
    X-height higher
    Easier to read
    Examples: Clarendon, and Egyptienne.

  • Lineal

    Combine all typefaces without serifs (called sans-serif, gothic, or grotesque)
    Some contrast
    Terminals of curves are usually horizontal
    Frequently has a spurred “G” and an “R” with a curled leg
    Examples: Grotesque and Headline.

  • Lineal Neo-grotesque

    Less stroke contrast
    More regular design (less variation between characters)
    Unlike the grotesque, they generally do not have a spurred “G”
    Terminals of curves are usually slanted
    Examples: Helvetica and Univers.

  • Lineal Geometric

    Sans serif faces constructed from simple geometric shapes, circles and/or rectangles.
    The same curves and lines are often repeated throughout the letters, resulting in minimal differentiation between letters
    Examples: Eurostile and Futura.

  • Lineal Humanist

    Relate to the earlier, classical hand written monumental Roman capitals and a lowercase similar in form to the Carolingian script.
    The term “humanist” is being used here in combination with lineal to create a subcategory, and these typefaces only slightly resemble those in the humanist serif category
    Slight stroke variation
    Examples: Gill Sans and Optima.

  • Calligraphics Glyphic

    Evoke the engraving or chiseling of characters in stone or metal, as opposed to calligraphic handwriting
    They thus have small, triangular serifs or tapering downstrokes
    There is usually a greater emphasis on the capital letters in glyphic typefaces, with some faces not containing a lowercase
    Examples: Gothic and Trajan.

  • Calligraphics Script

    Evoke the formal penmanship or cursive writing
    They seem to be written with a quill, and have a strong slope
    The letters can often be connected to each other
    Scripts are distinct from italic type
    Examples: Shelley and Francesca.

  • Calligraphics Graphic

    Based on hand-drawn originals which are slowly written with either a brush, pen, pencil, or other writing instrument
    These typefaces generally do not represent writing, and are not intended for body text, but instead display or headline purposes
    Examples: Banco and Klang.

  • Blackletter

    Characterized by pointed and angular forms
    Modeled on late medieval hands written with a broad-nibbed pen
    Examples: Fraktur and Old English.

  • Gaelic

    Must include all vowels with accute accents
    Uppercase and lowercase the same height
    Example: Celtic and Tristram.


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