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Fonts & Encodings by Yannis Haralambous

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11.4. IBM's Classification of Fonts

IBM's classification of fonts is used in the OS/2 table of TrueType fonts (under the entry sFamilyClass, §D.4.7). It consists of 10 classes, each with its own subclasses.[11-11] Here they are:

[11-11] The specification very frequently gives the correspondences between IBM's subclasses and the entries in the ISO 9541-1 standard [194], which is a standardized classification of typefaces that is unfortunately of little interest because it has not been adopted by the industry.

11.4.1. Class 0: No Classification

This category represents the absence of any classification.

11.4.2. Class 1: Old-Style Serifs

"Old-style" refers to the humanistic typefaces and the garaldes. Here are its subcategories:

  • Subclass 0: no classification. When no other information that could help us to classify the font is available. Warning: this is not a catchall to use whenever no subclass is appropriate. Subclass 15 ("miscellaneous") serves that purpose.

  • Subclass 1: "IBM rounded legibility". A class meant only for certain bitmap fonts by IBM.

  • Subclass 2: garalde. IBM gives the horrible ITC Garamond as a canonical example of the garaldes:[11-12]

    [11-12] The words Une forêt de lettres ("A forest of letters") come from a wonderful sentence by Rémy Peignot: "Vivre, c'est avancer dans une forêt de lettres qui nous font signe; elles n'ont pas encore dit leur dernier mot" ("To live is to move forward in a forest of letters that beckon to us: they have not yet said their last word") ...

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