The Sans Serif Typefaces

Bizarre and naked, sans serif alphabets joined the ranks of typefaces in the early 19th century when an English type foundry produced the first sans serif typeface in 1816.

But between 1810 and 1840, bold antiqua weights inspired by Bodoni and the newly developed slab serif linear antiqua typefaces were still more prominent and widely used in advertisements.

Even the creator of the first sans serif typeface, William Caslon, was not immediately convinced of the success of this new kind of type and designed only one size (28 point) and this only in capitals. He called it “English Egyptian”.

The typeface producer Vincent Figgins introduced three coordinating weights of his sans serif typeface in 1832. He realized the importance of these new forms and produced ten additional weights the following year. In Germany the sans serif was called the “Grotesk” right from the beginning, a name which clearly indicated the general feeling toward this new style and is still used today.

The Leipzig type foundry Schelter produced a light sans serif with both capitals and lower case letters in 1825. The ’grotesque’ types caught on in Germany more quickly than in other countries and were seen as an alternative to the antiqua and broken letter typefaces. It was in Germany that the Standard Series, which today is availabe as Basic Commercial, was created in 1900, the Reform Grotesk in 1904 and Venus in 1907.

more ... The Sans Serifs Prove Themselves

A selection of Linotype Sans Serif Fonts:

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