Sans serif classification
Several groups are generally distinguished:
In the DIN 16518 German classification, all sans typefaces are globbed together under the name Gruppe VI: Serifenlose Linear-Antiqua.
- Grotesque or Grotesk: These are the early sans-serif designs, but also include the 20th century work horses, Helvetica and Univers. Among the earlier ones, we list Akzidenz Grotesk, Bureau Grot, Grotesque, Franklin Gothic and Royal Gothic. The latter typefaces are sometimes classified as Gothic (two-story lowercase g, angled strokes on C and S).
- Humanist sans such as Johnston, Gill Sans, Frutiger and its copy, Myriad. These typefaces are alive with variations in width and calligraphic influences. Some appreciate them for beauty, others for legibility.
- Geometric sans: These typefaces are pregnant with geometric shapes, and are in some (most) cases less legible. On the other hand, they are more effective on posters and headlines. The main families in this category include Renner's Futura, and Lubalin's ITC Avant Garde. Other styles include Gotham, Spartan and Century Gothic.
- Neo-grotesque, transitional or realist: These are modern sans typefaces, often rather dull with little variation in line widths and lacking any extravagant features. Arial, Standard and Bell Centennial are in this group.
- Square Gothic, in the style of Bank Gothic: low contrast typefaces with straight lines and curved or rounded corners. Macho look.
Credit for some images below: Danielle West.
Typeface Classification ⦿
Avant Garde typefaces ⦿
Eric Gill and his typefaces ⦿