Typography is one of the considerable knowledge and industry fields, based on typefaces. They are an integral part of any graphic design, publishing or typing projects. However, before clashing with fonts’ choice that appears to a major issue in design, one should get acquainted with typography fundamentals, accumulated from famous typographers for centuries, including basic terms, styles and principles.
Typography is a primary integral part of any web0design project, as its main purpose is to carry information. In addition, it is an art of text decoration, so it could readable and beautiful at the same time.
Type family is usually mistaken for types or fonts. In sober fact, it is a group of fonts of the same origin, structure and image. It is a set of stylistically similar characters that you can write or print. Type family includes figures, letters and symbols. Font is a narrower concept, which is determined by several factors, such as size and style. In general, Arial is a type family, and Arial Bold is a font of this type family.
Serif fonts or Antiqua embraces all the fonts with small serifs at the top or at the bottom of their characters. They are hardly recommended for large text paragraphs because of their low readability. These are good for headlines and title lines. Serif fonts have been used since the Middle Ages period (for instance, one can pay attention to OldStyle Century). The characteristic feature: the part written at certain angle is usually thin. Besides Old Style Century, the group of old-fashioned Antiqua fonts embraces such type families (remember this term?) Centaur and Goudy Old Style.
The 18th century was a turning point in typography. It was a period of transitional serifs. The difference between wide and thin character lines is strongly visible, which might be observed in numerous fonts of the time – Baskerville, Times New Roman, Caslon, Bookman, Georgia, etc.
Later they were replaced with Slab serifs, which feature the same width of the lines.
Sans serifs or Grotesque fonts appeared at the end of the 18th century. There are four main types of sans serifs: grotesque fonts (Franklin Gothic) are very alike to serif fonts; Neo-Grotesque fonts (Arial. Helvetica), Humanist fonts (Optima, Verdana, Frutiger) are marked with thorough calligraphic letters and Geometric sans serifs are the most advanced modern fonts. The last ones include Metro, Futura, Eurostile, Rodchenko, etc.
There are also some other groups of fonts of equal importance, including Script and Decorative, but mostly they came from basic serifs and sans serif fonts.