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2.4 Slab Typefaces

Welcome to lesson number five, where you’ll learn about the last serif type on our list: Slab. Let’s begin.

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2.4 Slab Typefaces

Welcome to lesson number five, where you'll learn about the last Sarah type on our list, which is called slab. Now, this style was born in Britain, around the same time as the Industrial Revolution somewhere around the early 19th century. Now up to this point, pretty much all the typefaces were designed for one purpose, which is long text to be used primarily in books. But this one, the slab, was designed for something completely different, which was advertising. That's why these typefaces look good in big sizes, but don't work very well for body text. They have a geometric look to them and inspire confidence and solidity. You can see these typefaces being used in billboards, posters, pamphlets. Slabs were designed to be noticed, right? Now, another fun fact, slab serifs are also called Egyptian, right? Egyptian typefaces because they came out in a time when Egypt was a hot topic in the news, because of Napoleon's expedition, everybody was talking about it. So that's why it's called Egyptian, it has nothing to do with Egyptian hieroglyphs. Now if slab serifs look familiar to you, that's probably because they're used heavily in typewriters. If we look at some popular typewriter faces like career and American typewriter, you'll definitely see the defining characteristics. Speaking of characteristics, let's see how these typefaces are different from their predecessors. The biggest change and the most obvious is the almost non-existent stroke contrast, there's very little to no difference between stroke weights. This along with the non-bracketed, very heavy serifs is the easiest way to spot a slab typeface. This style also features vertical stress like you can see in the lowercase e here. Now time for some examples. One of the most famous slab typeface is Rockwell, you can see it right here, you also saw it in some examples that I showed you. Another one is Egyptian Slate, and we can clearly see the defining characteristics here, there's no stroke contrast, we have unbracketed or abrupt serifs, vertical stress, very easy to spot. Another one from Google is called Roboto Slab and then we have Sentinel, I really like this one, it's a slab serif but somehow it incorporates some of the characteristics from older style typefaces, like, for example, the Doni where we see this bowl shaped terminals. And here we can actually see that there is a contrast between strokes but it also has elements from slab so, I guess this is a combination of the two. Then we have Archer, this is a more clearly a slab than anything else, we can see that here. Then we have Soho, another very popular slab serif. And then on envato elements we can find a couple of these as well. The first one is called Haytham, this one has slightly rounded corners on the serifs and some other elements, so it's a slab, but it's a bit more refined. Then we have Glen Slab, and also Farhan, these are the ones that I could find, there probably are more of these on envato elements. And that's a quick look at slab typefaces. Now, let's switch gears and start talking about sans-serif typefaces. We'll do that in the next lesson where we will cover the grotesque style.

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