Serifa is an Egyptian font – also known as slab-serif – meaning that is has thick, blocky serif that appear to be heavier than the letterform itself. Serifa was also designed by Adrian Frutiger – for more information on Adrian Frutiger, see my post on Univers. Serifa was designed in 1966 for the Bauer Foundry. Similar to Frutiger’s Univers design, he designed Serifa on a grid system, regular weight (or 'parent' face or ‘Roman’) was referred to as 55, italic 56, bold 65, black 75, light 45 and light italic 46. Serifa differs from other Egyptian typefaces (like Rockwell and Memphis) because of its more Humanist design – meaning it is based on the original Roman capitals.



In 1954, the method for creating typefaces was changing. The Lumitype:Photon machine – a machine that would expose photographic paper by shining light through a disk containing the desired font – changed the way typesetters were deigning typefaces. Adrian Frutiger was one of the first of those designers to design for this new machine. In just a few days Frutiger came up with the design that would become Univers, originally wanting to call the design 'Le Monde' and then, when that was rejected, 'Galaxy'. Keeping with the astrological reference, Univers was accepted. Univers is considered the first sans-serif of the photo setting age.


This font post is unique to the rest - I'm going to deal with several fonts within one post.


Dingbats refer to ornamental designs (e.g., symbols, glyphs, characters) used in typesetting to decorate text. These have been around as long as printing. The forms we are commonly acquainted with are Wingdings (designed from the Lucida typeface) and Zapf Dingbats, created by Hermann Zapf (Zapfino, Palatino, Optima).

Wingdings, a set of Dingbats, were originally created in 1990 by Microsoft to be included in their Windows operating system. Wingdings is a TrueType font and consists of three sets including Wingdings 2 and Wingdings 3.

XKCD Guest Post



Baskerville is a transitional font that came about during the middle of the 18th century. John Baskerville, a man who had made a great deal of money hardening furniture and other objects through an varnishing process, once established, turned his interests to printing. J. Baskerville designed his typeface and had his employee, John Hardy, cut the punches for him. The work took several years because of Baskerville’s perfectionist behavior. He also went on to find new ways to improve upon the printing press to allow for greater precision.

Design Differences

Baskerville, the letterform, is known for its wider form and moderate stroke. It is noted that Baskerville gives a page a light gray appearance because of its form width and balance with the pages white space.

Another characteristic to point out in Baskerville is the tail of the capital ‘Q’ – it first sharply strikes to the left and then folds to the right, slightly tucking under the next letter, similar to the finish of a calligraphic capital ‘Q’. An interesting characteristic can be found in the tail of the lowercase ‘g’. Its descender does not make a fully closed loop, but tucks around itself like the tail of an animal. Additionally, the cross bar of the lowercase ‘e’ is high and the lowercase ‘j’ descender tucks to the left.

Famous Fans

Ben Franklin was an admirer of the Baskerville letterform. Being a printer himself, he could appreciate the simple and delicate lines that Baskerville offers.

Visual Study

'A Study in Q' - Shading provided by the first chapter of The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Carter, Rob, Philip B. Meggs, and Ben Day. Typographic design: form and communication. 3rd ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2002. Print.

Dodd, Robin. From Gutenberg to opentype: an illustrated history of type from the earliest letterforms to the latest digital fonts. Vancouver: Hartley & Marks, 2006. Print.

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