Serif fonts

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What are serif fonts?

In type design, two categories are often used to classify fonts, sans serif and serif fonts. Serif fonts have been used since Roman times. Roman inscriptions were the basis for capital letters as we know them today—a frequently discussed inscription plate is located on the base of Trajan’s Column, completed in AD 113. Carvers added serifs, the little feet on the letter stems, to give the chiseled letters a cleaner finish.

It wasn’t until the early 19th century, when a font by William Caslon IV appeared in a type sample book in 1816, that sans serif fonts started to circulate. However, serif fonts were used for body text much longer— until after World War II.

Brand expression using serif fonts

After two decades of minimalism, serif fonts experience a true renaissance. Serif typefaces are more personal and warmer. When serif fonts have rounded terminals, ample counters, and handwritten characteristics, they can be more approachable and friendlier than sans serif fonts.