I teach introductory typography to students studying graphic design.
While constructing a list of design factors that affect the appearance, readability, and legibility of a typographic letterform, symbol, glyph, etc.; I hit a wall.
I am looking for the collective term category/group name for the styles whose letterforms can be differentiated by the presence or absence of a design trait — serif, sans serif.
The definitions of each are well documented:
In typography, serifs are semi-structural details on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols. A typeface that has serifs is called a serif typeface (or seriffed typeface). A typeface without serifs is called sans-serif, from the French sans, meaning “without”. Some typography sources refer to sans-serif typefaces as “grotesque” (in German “grotesk”) or “Gothic”, and serif types as “Roman”.
Here's the list I prepared to meet my deadline. I had to go with stroke. Can I do any better for my revision?
Here are factors that affect ease of reading.
- case: upper & lower case mix is more readable than all caps
- x-height: larger is more readable than smaller
- leading: more is more readable than solid
- line length: shorter (10-12 words) are more easily readable than longer
- alignment: ragged-right is more readable than justified
- weight: medium is more readable than light or bold
- measure: normal is more readable than condensed or expanded
- margins: moderate is more readable than tight
- contrast: black (dark) on yellow (light) background is more readable than others
- substrate: smooth backgrounds are more readable than textured ones
- stroke: many agree that serifs are more readable than sans serifs