Sans serif Britain

Sans Serif


David Osbaldestin


David Osbaldestin, from the Typographic hub, has carried out a research project that aims to enable a new understanding of the historical development, uses and influences of the sans serif font. This is explored through the perspectives of the users and audience, as well as from the view of the manufacturers. By doing this, the research will result in an interpretation of the importance of sans serif used in Britain.


  • To find out what impact the emergence of the British sans serif had on nineteenth-century print culture and design
  • To discover what effect the development of the British sans serif had on advertising or if advertising stimulated the demand for the development of sans serif printing types
  • To explore how British sans serif typefaces were commercially deployed by trade printers in the nineteenth and early twentieth century
  • To identify the influence that nineteenth century British sans serif printing types have on revival sans serif faces of the twentieth century
  • To look further into how the usage of sans serif types can be used as an index to measuring cultural values.

Read the latest project updates on David's blog