A short lesson on Serif v. Sans Serif.

Currently in journalism I am studying typography.

I just learnt the difference between Serif and Sans Serif typeface .

Serif‘s are small addictions onto letters.
Sans is French for ‘without’.

Serif text is often used in print media, as we learn to read by recognising the shapes of words. Serifs help the eyes join letters and words. People notice spelling errors because the shape of the mis-spelled word clashes with the shape in our memory.

I generally prefer Serif fonts such as Georgia, as I find it elegant, but it depends on the contents of what I am writing.


Blog inspired by Stephen Quinn’s “Digital Sub-Editing & Design” text .
Serif v. Sans Serif

Serif v. Sans Serif

8 Responses to “A short lesson on Serif v. Sans Serif.”

  1. We did a typography class last semester and learnt the exact same thing. I guess you’ll also be doing things like kerning? and x and y of letters?

  2. Okay, so as a GD student, this is pretty much my life. I live for this shit. In fact, I’m supposed to know most typefaces by name, not just what type of font it is. (which is a pain in the ass)
    My opinion personally, is that there is a time and place for both Serif and Sans Serif. Sometimes Serif font can be used to add elegance to print media.
    I like to use Sans Serif, as it’s cleaner and easier to read at a smaller point size, compared to Serif font.
    However, I hate the saturated use of Helvetica.

  3. katherineliew Says:

    The world seems to be going to the sans serifs! Especially Lucida Grande, thanks to Apple… But I agree, serifs are nicer. It gives the font a bit of personality, like handwriting.

  4. playroomfancy Says:

    Serif! I still write like I did in primary school, all cursive and flowy.

  5. At college, I was told sans serif fonts tend to be favoured by “equal opps” organisations as the letters are individually easier to recognise for those people unable to read in the way that serif, as you rightly point out, facilitates.

  6. chloe is french for DORK.

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