Brief 200 words on each: Serifs, San Serifs and a Decorative typeface. 


Decorative Typeface

Decorative Typeface

[Decorative and display typefaces were created by Graphic Designers who wanted a typeface that matched the product /object they wanted to advertise.
Most fonts that don’t fit into the other categories and capital letters also fall into the Decorative category.]

Morris Fuller Benton 1872-1948 created this typeface plus many others, 180 in total in various styles. (including Agency FB, Bulmer, Franklin Gothic and Century Schoolbook.
Benton is known for his bold and striking designs.

Hobo was designed in 1910 is an unusual Art Nouveau-inspired designed that contains no straight line and no descenders.
It is also known as a ‘friendly’ font that works well in invitations, menus, signage and packaging.

The “gothics” fonts such as Franklin gothic are much more similar to modern sans-serif fonts such as Helvetica.

He was born into the type business, as his father was the inventor of the matrix-cutting machine, which revolutionized printing.
He graduated in mechanical engineering and went to work with his father at American Type Founders Company, later becoming the Chief Type Designer (1900 to 1937).

Benton also developed the dividing up of typefaces or fonts into families and helped to create a more organized structure in typography.

EF Copperplate
(oops, this is decorative!! As no lowercase)

Serif Typeface (update: I got this wrong... no lower case so decorative font)

Serif Typeface (update: I got this wrong… no lower case so decorative font)

Serif typefaces are distinguished by the use of small decorative strokes at the end of the letters main strokes. They can consist of either: slab, wedge or hair and can be bracketed or unbracketed.

Serifs are easy to read and are usually used in the body rather than headings etc. It is usual to use one serif and one san serif (san serifs for headings)
The serif family consists of: Old style, Transitional, Modern and slab.

Frederic W. Goudy designed copperplate in 1901 for the American Type Founders.
He is best known for Goudy Old Style, Berkley Old Style and Deepdene. Goudy loved the 15th Century and took his inspiration from this time period.

This typeface was originally designed for stationary and society printing – it is still used for business/professional stationary and for office signage such as lawyers frosted doors!
Copperplate is known as a serious and straight to the point font.

It appears at first to be a san serif font but it actually has tiny, finely detailed serifs.

There are 11 styles in the Copperplate family. The AB & BC designators refer to the size of the capital letters.

Garage Gothic
San Serif

Garage Gothic

Garage Gothic

San Serifs are ‘sans’ (Latin for non) serifs and the letter consist of the essential figures only.
San serif text has to be read letter by letter and should not be used in long texts or in the body of articles etc. They can however be used for footnotes.

Garage Gothic was designed in 1992, by Tobias Frere-Jones (born in New York in 1970).

He has designed over 200 typefaces and is obsessed with fonts – he has hundreds of notebooks filled with sketches.
At fourteen he had exhibited paintings, sculptures and photographs. His first alphabet was completed at 16 and he won the Type Shop of New York’s Alphabet Design Contest in 1986.

The design for this san serif font was inspired by the type used on garage parking receipts when he was working as the senior designer at the Font Bureau Inc.

“The day we stop needing new type will be the same day we stop needing new stories and songs”, Tobias Frere-Jones.