Grotesque (sans-serif)

Feb 02, 2011 1 Comment by

grotesqueThe word “Grotesque”, or “Grotesk” in German, is also frequently used as a synonym for sans-serif in typography. At other times, it is used (along with “Neo-Grotesque”, “Humanist”, “Lineal”, and “Geometric”) to describe a particular style or subset of sans-serif typefaces. The origin of this association can be traced back to English typefounder William Thorowgood, who first introduced the term “grotesque” and in 1835 produced 7-line pica grotesque—the first sans-serif typeface containing actual lowercase letters. An alternate etymology is possibly based on the original reaction of other typographers to such a strikingly featureless typeface.

Popular Grotesque typefaces include Franklin GothicNews GothicHaettenschweiler and Lucida Sans (although the latter lacks the spurred “G”), whereas popular Neo-Grotesque typefaces include Arial, Helvetica and Verdana.

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One Response to “Grotesque (sans-serif)”

  1. Sense of style vs. personal taste. Fonts. says:

    […] of free fonts, but does not solve the design problem. Fonts are divided into two large groups: Grotesque (sans-serif) and Roman type (serif). While the system provides you with “Arial, Tahoma, Geneva” in the […]

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