History of Type

History of Type

Author: Maria Tucker

In this lesson you will learn to categorize type families by historical classification.

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Notes on "History of Type"


Image of Adobe Garamond, Public Domain


Image of ITC Garamond, Public Domain


Image of DTP font, Public Domain


Image of 1400 Blackletter, Public Domain

Image of Antiqua, Public Domain


Image of Times Serif, Public Domain


Image of Bodoni type, Public Domain


Image of Egypt type, Public Domain

Image of Bauhaus type, Public Domain


Image of 1400 manucript, Public Domain


Image of 1800 type, Public Domain


Image of Toulouse Poster, Public Domain


Image of WWII Poster, Public Domain


Image of Blackletter Font, Public Domain


Image of Garamond, Public Domain


Image of Baskerville, Public Domain


Image of Rockwell, Public Domain


Image of Bodoni, Public Domain


Image of Helvetica, Public Domain


Image of Bauhaus, Public Domain


Terms to Know
  • Bauhaus

    An art and craft movement begun at a school in Germany in the 1920s. The movement emphasized the functional aspects of design and was characterized by the use of simple geometric shapes, sans-serif type and a lack of adornment.

  • Blackletter 

    A type classification developed in the 1400s and based on written manuscripts. This style is characterized by elaborate, straight, angular strokes. Member type families include Fraktur and Rotunda.

  • Egyptian

    A type classification developed in the early 1800s and named for a trend popularizing Egyptian antiques. This style is characterized by rectangular or so called slab serifs and use of strokes of even weight. Member type families include Clarendon and Rockwell.

  • Modern

    A type classification developed in the late 1700s. This style is characterized by a geometric quality, hairline thin serifs and extreme contrast between thick and thin strokes. Member type families include Bodoni and Didot.

  • Old Style

    A type classification developed in the 1400s and based on ancient Roman inscriptions and an early writing style. This style is characterized by low contrast between thick and thin strokes and distinctive numerals. Member type families include Garamond and Caslon.

  • Sans-Serif

    This type classification was developed in the early 1800s and later popularized by the Bauhaus movement. This style is characterized by the absence of serifs and uniform thickness of stroke. Member type families include Helvetica and Futura.

  • Transitional

    A type classification developed in the 1700s which evolved from Old Style. This style is characterized by wider characters and greater contrast between thick and thin strokes than Old Style. Member type families include Baskerville and Bookman.