What Does Serif Mean?

A serif is a graphic design component of text characters that dates back to early Roman times. It is described as a short line or appendage joined to individual letters in text. This gives the letters and numbers a particular type of visual style that is still popular in modern fonts.


Techopedia Explains Serif

Modern font families are described as either “serif” or “sans serif.” Serif fonts have small line appendages on most of the alphabet’s letters, for example, at the ends and bottom of a letter T, or at both ends of the letter Z. Other types of fonts are described as sans serif – these do not have any line appendages, but consist of a single line, as in letters like C, S and L, or a line terminating at the beginning of another line used to draw the letter, in complex letters like E, F and X.

Historians describe the contrast between serif and sans serif fonts as “Roman” and “Gothic” – the Latin or Roman font, for example, Times New Roman, uses the serif, while Gothic fonts like Calibri do not.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…