What do you native-English speakers and others (not Germans) prefer as a term for Modern or Didone style typefaces? I’m not a big fan of those and have my own preferred set of terms*, but for keywords that will be used by an international audience, one probably has to go with the most commonly used ones?
I think many of us, even Vox and the DIN, could live with the following breakdown for Latin, but finding the most widely understood names continues to be tricky. Please regard the terms in brackets as random placeholders for the respective genres.
- Serif (oldstyle, realist, modern, geometric, decorative)
- Sans (humanist, gothic, grotesk, geometric, decorative)
- Slab (humanist, clarendon, egyptienne, geometric, decorative)
- Script (chancery, roundhand, linear, informal, decorative)
[omitting the whole contrast/linear thing here for the moment]
Not meaning to say it’s impossible to introduce other/new terms. I proposed to use “dynamic” and “rational” or “static” resp. instead of oldstyle/humanist and modern/grotesk in 1998 in Germany. Several text books – mostly widely read Willberg’s – have since picked that up and the terms are now quite well understood by the younger generation over here.
* for those interested in a more lengthy view on things, I wrote this
a while back.