Help with typeface classification

stephliew85's picture

Hi everybody,

I'm a student doing a uni assignment which asks that we find examples of typefaces from different categories.

The ones I'm stuck on are these:

• humanist axis
• vertical (rational axis)
• implied vertical axis
• no axis
• sloped roman

If someone could please post examples and/or links to definitions of these categories (I've searched in books and on the net to no avail), that would be terribly appreciated :-)

thanks again!
Steph

riccard0's picture

"Sloped roman" is also referred to as "faux italic".
It refers to those fonts in which the italics haven't specific letter shapes (i.e. single-storey a), but are just a slanted version of the roman (upright) ones.

nina's picture

Here's a great thread about sloped romans, with lots of examples: http://typophile.com/node/29998
Basically, as you might know the classic concept is that Italics have different structures, which are closer to handwriting/calligraphy, including also some specifically differing letter shapes as Riccardo pointed out. This is what a sloped roman avoids. It is instead built upon the same structure as its accompanying Roman face, but slanted – of course not just mechanically though, a good sloped roman (also «slanted roman») is also a lot of work to design too (for one thing, the curves have to be re-balanced).
I would think that is the big difference to the «faux italic», which is just that, faux, means that if you hit the "I" button in Word on a font that doesn't have an italic, you get an artificially slanted version of the Roman, which generally looks horrid. Different thing.

As for the axes, I'm assuming you're looking for the stress/contrast axis, which in humanist typefaces is usually slanted («diagonal stress»), in modern fonts [more] vertical. Compare the "o" of maybe a Garamond and a Didot to see what I mean. There are millions :-) of correct examples for these ones, the important thing is to learn how to look at/see them.
I assume «no axis» would be used for a font with no weight contrast, like Futura or something, but I'm not sure.

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