Serif v Sans Serif

Written on the 1 June 2013 by Kellie Williams

Which font?

Last issue I mentioned serif and sans serif fonts. These are the two major font categories, and the difference is quite simple.

A serif is the tiny structure on the end of some letters in a typeface. They originated from the flair of the brush stroke in old script, but it is common belief today that they are a useful visual tool when reading large blocks of text.

For this reason they are most often used in lengthy texts, while sans serif fonts are used for headlines and shorter pieces.

A serif font also has a more formal appearance. Most serif fonts have thick and thin lines, while san serif fonts, (from the French ‘sans’ which means ‘without’) are cleaner bulkier fonts and are more readable on a computer screen where the constraints of screen resolution can make small serifs and thin lines hard to see.

Sans serif fonts are also a good choice for logos and signage because they are clean and more versatile.

So keep in mind what medium your text will end up in when you next pick a font.

This article was published in Zoom in Business Magazine Issue 2


Kellie WilliamsAuthor: Kellie Williams
About: Kellie studied Commercial Art over 25 years ago at James Cook University and has been working in the Printing and Media industries ever since. She has worked for screenprinters, printing companies and newspapers in North Queensland and now runs her own business, Jasper Design, servicing Qld and interstate clients.
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