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Joseph Alessio is a lettering artist and designer from the Detroit area. He has worked with companies such as Patagonia, Reach Records, Monotype and the Art Director's Club. When not working, he plays 7 musical instruments and reads classic literature. You can keep up with some of what he's doing on his Dribbble profile, and he often talks about life, design and current events in 140 characters.
In the first installment of this two-part series on type classification, we covered the basics of type classification — the various methods people have used, why they are helpful, and a brief survey of type history, classifying and identifying typefaces along the way. Unfortunately, we only got as far as Roman (traditional serif) typefaces and the early-19th century.
Now we’re back for part 2! Part 2 will primarily cover sans typefaces, with a nod to display typefaces and other less common categories, as well as address a few of the questions people have about whether type classification is helpful and necessary.
This article again deals with terminology, probably more specifically than most designers are used to, and the title gets to the heart of what I’m communicating in this article. Everyone knows their serifs and sans, slabs and scripts, but most classifications go much deeper than that.
Coming out of the grunge, graffiti and David Carson era through the 90's, there has been a major resurgence of interest in typography. We have seen a number of designers and artists make their careers out of designing type or custom lettering, and it has become common to list typography among our skills and disciplines.
Unfortunately, as with any popularity surge, there have come with it a lot of misunderstandings of some of the terms and concepts that we use. This article will help you gain a clearer understanding of what typography is and isn't, and why.