Feb 18 | Bill Jostrand Are you like me? Are you a maniac when it comes to type? If so, you have probably noticed that slab serif typefaces are back in vogue. Even Martha Stewart has used a slab (Archer) and she is my idol...uh...I mean...she has nice penmanship.
Anyway, slab serif typefaces are nothing new, they were developed sometime in the 1800's. These big beefy typefaces were used to grab attention in ad headlines (I imagine they were used to sell penny farthings).
Serifs are small details that flow off the stroke of many letters. Slab serifs are big and blocky and usually meet the letter at a ninety degree angle. Many consider Slab serifs to be a subset of Sans Serifs (picture a capital "A" set in Helvetica with a rectangle plonked on top of it).
I love the personality of slab serifs. I find they are well suited for titling, headlines, callouts and I will occasionally use them for navigation. Because of the chunky decoration, I wouldn't really recommend using a typeface like rockwell for body copy.
Here are a few slab serif typefaces and examples of how they are being used today:
While it's tough to tell these guys apart from a few letters, they each have their individual "personalities". I mean, look at the ball decoration on the "C" in "cookbook" in the Martha example.
Check all the typefaces here: