Writing with Clay and Stone

Classifying type

Over the past few centuries there have been various attempts to place the ever growing catalog of typefaces into categories.

Francis Thibaudeau (1860-1925)

His 1921924 attempt to classify type using serif1

Maximilien Vox Classification 1954

Vox attempted to classify type into ten styles based on a number of formal criteria: downstroke and upstroke, forms of serifs, stroke axis, x-height, etc. The Vox-ATypI classification defines archetypes of typefaces, in fact a typeface can easily exhibit the characteristics of more than one class.

It was adopted in 1962 by the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) and in 1967 as a British Standard, as British Standards Classification of Typefaces (BS 2961:1967), which is a very basic interpretation of the earlier Vox-ATypI classification.



Robert Bringhurst Historical Synopsis in The Elements of Typographic Style

Mr. Bringhurst's connection between type face and artistic movement is becoming recognized as the accepted method to analyze and classify type