Who Shot the Serif?


Allan Haley in Archive on July 13, 2009

Lately it seems that every new typeface release is either a sans serif or a script. What ever happened to the serif? When people ask, “Aren’t there enough typefaces; do we really need 200,000 fonts?” my answer used to be, “Just as there is always room for new music, there will always be room for new typeface designs.” Now, I’m not so sure.

How many OpenType script fonts with hundreds of alternate characters can we possibly use? Do we really need yet another humanistic, calligraphic, geometric or quasi industrial-strength sans serif typeface?

What happened to the stalwart, straightforward – or even quirky and delightfully fancy – serif typeface? Can new serif typefaces find a home in today’s world of serifless fonts? Are graphic designers doomed to a world without serifs?

Allan Haley
Allan Haley is Director of Words & Letters at Monotype Imaging. Here he is responsible for strategic planning and creative implementation of just about everything related to typeface designs.

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