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Intersting probable learn-something-everyday day, in ttwitterrverrrse...
Was following a tweet by the every brighter glowing @jasonsantamaria, I found myself at odds with his classing Adobe's fantastic Chaparral family as a Slab Serif.
My expectation of the term would be obviously with serifs, and they would all be horizontal portions of rectangles parallel or perpendicular to the baseline without exception.
Such serif structure and the related lack of stress in curves team up to form what I always thought of as a slab serif... Chaparral has some in common with my definition in the baseline serifs, some of the curves are unaffected by a diagonal pen.
But... Most of the common characters in Chaparral show the liveliness of the pen, and there are lots of angled serifs, more in the class of the “old style” class, than the Slab Serif sub-class of “modern”
Today's classifying and sub-classing of type designs is not entirely dissimilar to trying to guess the weight of angel, and it may be that my old definitions have been shifted by the sands of type, so perhaps some more opinions would help.
To partly establish a mass of examples of my opinion, I introduce Myfonts.com, and Fontshop.com, and then search for “slab serif”. Both seem to follow my definition, for at least a few fonts, and for the most part keep to it for 80% or so, before the search engines seem to break down.
Why e.g. FontShop finds fonts with no serifs a way down the search results, or why Myfonts thinks “Oklahoma” is a slab, introduces mystery. But when the search result is wrong, it's really wrong. The other 80% or so of the search results do match my definition of slab serif.