Sans Serif Font Styles

Sans Serif means "without serifs". These are typefaces that do not have serifs, the tiny strokes that are often found at the ends of the main strokes of letters. There are several main categories of sans serif types: grotesques (e.g. Monotype Grotesque or Akzidenz Grotesk), geometric sans serifs (e.g. Futura), humanist sans serifs (e.g. Optima) and square sans serifs (e.g. Bank Gothic, Agency and Microgramma). In the United States, Grotesques are called gothics (e.g. Trade Gothic). Grotesques have letters that are nearly uniform in width with strokes that appear to be the same thickness. Well known grotesques are Helvetica, Arial, Univers and Myriad. Geometric sans serifs have shapes that are more geometric (i.e. circles instead of ovals and squares instead of rectangles) than those of grotesques. They still have strokes of consistent thickness. Besides Futura, other examples of geometric sans serifs are ITC Avant-Garde Gothic and Gotham. Humanist sans serifs have proportions based on those of Renaissance serif types. Some have strokes of distinct thick/thin contrast. Gill Sans and Syntax are typical of the first kind and Optima of the second.

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