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Typeface Classifications ?

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Renderix's picture
Joined: 24 Jun 2013 - 2:07pm
Typeface Classifications ?

Recently I came upon a typeface class called, Realist(you guys have probably heard about it). Is it the same as Grostesque, because I saw it used for typefaces such as Akzidenz and Franklin Gothic. If not, can you please tell me about some of its characteristics.

I basically know(I think) all the general classes but can someone list them and their defining characteristics.


Donald H. Tucker's picture
Joined: 13 Dec 2012 - 3:47pm

Perhaps the most widely used system is the Vox-ATypI classification. For listing and defining characteristics there is a wiki at:
Note two different uses of "realist" from the wiki:
1. "'Realist sans-serif' is a commonly encountered synonym for neo-grotesque."
2. "The transitional, realist or réales are the typical typefaces of the traditional period, particularly embodying the rational spirit of the Enlightenment"

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Neo-grotesque typefaces are derived from the earlier grotesque faces, but generally have less stroke contrast and a more regular design. Unlike the grotesque, they generally do not have a spurred "G", and the terminals of curves are usually slanted. Many neo-grotesque faces have a large degree of subtlety and variation of widths and weights to accommodate different means of production (Hot type, foundry type, phototypesetting, see History of typography, 20th century). "Realist sans-serif" is a commonly encountered synonym for neo-grotesque. Examples of neo-grotesque lineal typeface include Helvetica and Univers.
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