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Hello everyone. I was wondering yesterday and came to a thought: is it more difficult, aiming to design a typeface family, to design a sans serif typeface from the serif version?
I'm thinking that the sans is more rationalist and closest to the skeleton shape of the character, with less contrast of the strokes, and more affected by geometry. The serif design is more organic and implies modulation. Could I design the serif version just by "chopping off" the sans version?
Don´t take this literally, because I'm aware that are many ways of thinking about this and there are a lot of variables to think of, like the ideia of a humanist sans, but let's forget the gray areas and keep it simple. Does this make any sense?
Everybody "knows" that serif typefaces are considered to be more readable and legible for extensive text. Be we are talking about printed text. As we pass on to screen, we are confronted with new problems, because the page is not DINA4, but 1024x768px, or less. Serif text does not have the same behaviour. It is also true that new HD monitors and new processes of anti-alias have emprooved display, but still... aren´t we forcing the rules on printed text on to screen?
I guess my question is: can typography live beyond paper? I think it might, but with new rules...
One thing I find funny, (without being funny at all) is that there few typeface designers who can actually achieve good work with their own created typefaces. I mean the graphic design part...
Typeface designers produce an essential tool for graphic and editorial design, but the work they produce in those areas is far from having the same kind of quality that they achieve with their "glyphs".
What I can actually find is some good text composing and good editorial details or very well written essays... but as for web and graphic... well, that's another story...
Is this just an impression? Am I being unfair?
It's been a while since I first read the "Elements of Typographic Style". I recall that I found odd to associate the initials m, d, p to the typefaces throughout history, while Bringhurst was introducing them to me. And then I understood the term fo(u)nt : the source of the drawing, of the contour, the expression of a specific letter shape. However, we are only looking at physical part of it. It's true that typography has changed and that our computer screens are a "rough and bad quality paper", as Spiekermann answered a question of mine. But when we are thinking of typography these days, and quite for some time already the project, the faculty, the questions and problems related to drawing shapes of the letters leave its fount, and live beyond it.