Friday, February 1, 2013

What is a Serif?

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! This week we're going to learn about letterforms. Today's topic is serifs. What are they? Why do we use them? What typefaces are considered serifs? So grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

A serif is defined as: A slight projection finishing off a stroke of a letter.

This text is not a serifed typeface. An example:
This letter is from the type family Georgia. Those little feet on the A are called serifs. Any letterforms with protrusions like those are considered to be a serifed typeface. Sometimes, they can resemble cups or be prettier than the ones here, but they're all still serifs!

Why do we use them?
It goes back to ancient handwriting. Even the first typewriters used a serifed (slab serif) font. Basically, readability is why we use them. There are slab serif fonts, too. Those more closely mimic what was done with a chisel and hammer back when we were banging around on rocks and was what many typewriters used. An example:
This letter is from the type family Rockwell. It's called a slab serif because the serifs are the same basic weight as the strokes on the letter.

A few other serifed fonts are:

Just to give you an idea. Now you can start noticing some of your own. For printed books, Palatino is a common font to use. Always consider legibility FIRST when producing a book. After all, we want them read, right?

What's your favorite serifed font?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! Kinda neat learning where they come from :)

  2. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment
    didn't appear. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again.
    Anyway, just wanted to say excellent blog!


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