Serif vs. Sans Serif

Ever heard of serifs? They’re the little decorative edges on typed letters of certain fonts. Times New Roman (the font in the image) is an example of a serif font. If they don’t have those decorative edges, they’re considered sans serif (without serifs). An example of a sans serif font is Helvetica.

Who might care about such a small detail on a letter?

Graphic designers care. When creating a business card or letterhead for a company, they may choose a serif font for a more classic look. If they want something more modern, they may choose a sans serif font.

Typographers care too. When creating your own typeface, you have to be consistent. One of the first decisions made by a typographer is whether or not the font will have serifs. It will determine the design of the entire alphabet (and the numbers too).


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