thought I'd make a post about fonts/typefaces and a little bit of typography because I have quite a bit of experience with this subject.
Typefaces vs. fonts
There are some similarities among typeface and font names that can be interesting to learn about.
Often the foundry (font creator) is included in the name, especially when it's a new version of a font. Garamond is a historical font from the 1500s, and there are new versions called ITC (International Typeface Corporation) Garamond, Adobe Garamond, and Monotype Garamond, to name a few. The newer ones have differences from and updates to the original. MS stands for Microsoft, MT is Monotype, and BT is Bitstream.
Really old fonts from hundreds of years ago (and some newer fonts like Gill Sans) are often named after the person who created them. This is the case for Garamond, Goudy, Caslon, and others.
Some fonts contain their classification or other descriptors, which I'll describe later. Examples include Grotesque or Grotesk, Humanist, Slab, Antiqua, and Roman. In fact, Times New Roman is literally a "new" version of the historical "Roman" font (actually this is different from the Roman style described below as it is actually the name of a font, but I don't know where else to include this information). It was created for the London Times newspaper.
There are a lot of German words in font names because I guess Germany has had a lot of font innovation. Examples: Neue, Fraktur, and Grotesk.
Font styles within a typeface
Like I mentioned above, a typeface contains multiple versions of a font. Here are some examples:
- Bold, Light, etc. and/or numbered weights (the numbers are not completely standardized) - Book means it's especially readable and Roman is the "normal" weight and style. More examples are shown in the image below.
- Oblique or Italic - oblique refers to simply a slanted form of a font and italic refers to a set of characters that are actually different from the original font. It's technically possible to have a non-slanted italic.
- Condensed or Extended (horizontal compression or stretch)
- Small Caps
- Outline or Shadow
- Combinations such as Bold Oblique or Small Caps Extended
Common descriptors and classifications
- Serif and sans-serif - You probably already know this, but serifs are little "tabs" on letters, and sans-serif means "without serifs".