Peatah’s category list is closely tied to Typeface Combinations. This helps make both topics more understandable. Let’s start here with classifications, and then move on to combinations.
The list on the left has bold headings to show the major classifications followed by their subcategories. So, we can actually simplify it all down to two categories:
Serif and Sans Serif. A serif is a small projection that finishes the end of a stroke of a letter. Sans is an early French term based on a Latin word that means without. So, that makes the definition of sans serif pretty obvious. Even the display types could be worked into these two categories; but, we’ll keep them in a separate list.
The “Typefaces” title at the top of the page is sans serif; “Classified” is serif. The main page links across the very top are sans serif, and—unless you have changed your browse prefs—this text you are reading is serif.
To keep it simple, we’ll only cover the serif and sans serif groups. The display styles are used at larger sizes (16 points and larger) and aren’t normally used within lengthy text. They also have more of a “pay attention to me” personality; so, we won’t discuss them much in the combinations topic either. (Display type is typically combined with just a plain sans serif.)
So, click to see the differences in the five categories of serif type.
And, click for the four categories of sans serifs.