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Font superfamily

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The PT family, showing the related structures of letters
Thesis by Lucas DeGroot

In typography, a font superfamily or typeface superfamily is a font family containing fonts that fall into multiple classifications.[1]

The norm in a superfamily is to start from an identical character shape; class-specific features such as serifs are added to that shape. The result is a set of fonts with a similar appearance that belong to different classes such as sans, serif, slab serif, rounded.[2][3]

Superfamilies may include fonts grouped together for a common purpose that are not exactly complementary in letterform structure. They can allow organizations to expand their image and style while maintaining stylistic consistency. For example, BBC Reith font superfamily was commissioned by the BBC in 2018 to facilitate 'typographic expression' and consists of three styles (condensed, sans, serif) as well as a multitude of weights.[4][5]

Notable superfamilies[edit]

Same letterforms[edit]

by Playtype, comprising Berlingske Serif, Berlingske Serif Display, Berlingske Serif Stencil, Berlingske sans, Berlingske Sans Display, Berlingske sans Stencil, Berlingske Slab, Berlingske Slab Display, Berlingske Slab Stencil, Berlingske Typewriter.
FF Meta
by Erik Spiekermann, comprising FF Meta (sans), FF Meta Serif and FF Meta Headline
FF Nexus
by Martin Majoor, comprising FF Nexus Sans, FF Nexus Serif, FF Nexus Mix and FF Nexus Typewriter
FF Quadraat
by Fred Smeijers, comprising FF Quadraat (serif), FF Quadraat Sans, FF Quadraat Display and FF Quadraat Headliner
FF Scala
by Martin Majoor, comprising FF Scala (serif) and FF Scala Sans
FF Seria
by Martin Majoor, comprising FF Seria (serif) and FF Seria Sans
by Erik Faulhaber, comprising Generis Sans, Generis Serif, Generis Simple and Generis Slab
ITC Humana
by Timothy Donaldso, comprising ITC Humana Sans, ITC Humana Serif and ITC Humana Script
ITC Officina
by Erik Spiekermann and Just van Rossum, comprising ITC Officina Sans, ITC Officina Serif and ITC Officina Display
Linotype Authentic
by Karin Huschka, comprising Linotype Authentic Sans, Linotype Authentic Serif, Linotype Authentic Small Serif and Linotype Authentic Stencil
Linotype Compatil
by Olaf Leu, comprising Compatil Text, Compatil Fact, Compatil Letter and Compatil Exquisit
by Charles Bigelow and Kris Holmes, comprising Lucida Sans, Lucida Serif, Lucida Typewriter Sans, Lucida Typewriter Serif and Lucida Math
by Eben Sorkin, comprising Merriweather and Merriweather Sans
by Lance Hidy, comprising Penumbra Sans, Penumbra Serif, Penumbra Half Serif and Penumbra Flare
PT Fonts
by Alexandra Korolkova et al, comprising PT Serif, PT Sans and PT Mono.
by Otl Aicher, comprising rotis serif, rotis semi-serif, rotis semi-sans and rotis sans
by Rosemary Sassoon and Adrian William, comprising Sassoon Sans, Sassoon Book, Sassoon Primary, Sassoon Infant and Sassoon Sans Slope
by Paul D. Hunt and Frank Grießhammer, comprising Source Sans Pro, Source Serif Pro and Source Code Pro
by Sumner Stone, comprising Stone Serif, Stone Sans and Stone Informal
by Lucas de Groot, comprising TheSans, TheSerif, TheMix and TheAntiqua
both Trajan (serif, designed by Carol Twombly) and Trajan Sans. No lower-case.

Same purpose[edit]

Computer Modern
by Donald E. Knuth, comprising cmr (antiqua), cmss (grotesque) and cmtt (monospaced)
DejaVu and Bitstream Vera
comprising DejaVu Sans, DejaVu Sans Mono and DejaVu Serif.
by Steve Matteson, comprising Droid Sans, Droid Serif and Droid Sans Mono.
IBM Plex
by Mike Abbink, comprising IBM Plex Sans, IBM Plex Sans Condensed, IBM Plex Serif and IBM Plex Mono
Noto fonts
by Google, comprising Noto Sans, Noto Serif and Noto Mono, an expansion of the Droid family. It supports a wide range of languages.
by Christian Robertson, comprising Roboto, Roboto Slab and Roboto Mono
Corporate ASE
by Kurt Weidemann, comprising antiqua, sans and Egyptienne
by Steve Matteson, comprising Liberation Sans, Liberation Serif and Liberation Mono


  1. ^ Seeliger, Frank (2016-04-01), "Machen Google, Wikipedia und Amazon und Co. Bibliotheken überflüssig?", Hochschulmanagement in Theorie und Praxis : Festschrift für László Ungvári, Wildau Verlag GmbH, doi:10.15771/978-3-945560-03-7_12, ISBN 978-3-945560-03-7, retrieved 2023-06-27
  2. ^ "Superfamilies". Google Fonts. Retrieved 2023-06-27.
  3. ^ "What are font superfamilies and why do we need them?". Monotype. 2020-05-06. Retrieved 2023-06-27.
  4. ^ "Super Families - Fonts.com". Fonts.com. Retrieved 2023-06-27.
  5. ^ "Typography". GEL Website. 2017-08-07. Retrieved 2024-06-10.