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The 19th century brought fewer stylistic innovations. The most notable invention was the rise of typefaces with strengthened serifs. Their name likely comes from.
Forerunners were the so-called Egyptienne fonts, which were used already at the beginning of the 19th century. Their name likely comes from the enthusiasm of the Napoleonic era for the orient, which in turn was started by Napoleon’s invasion in Egypt. In fact slab-serif fonts (e. g. Clarendon from 1845) were newspaper fonts, whose serifs were strengthened in order to prevent damage during the printing process.
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Stylistically the serif fonts of the mid-19th century appeared very robust and otherwise had more or less neo-classical design features, which changed.
By the application of the slab serif design feature and by appending serifs to more and more typefaces, an independent intermediate group of heterogeneous fonts emerged during the 20th century. Meanwhile the slab serifs are listed as an independent group in most typeface classifications–besides both main groups serif and sans serif.
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Above all the 19th century was innovative regarding technical aspects. Automatic manufacturing processes changed the print as well as the graphical illustrations.
The illustration of printed matters could be considerably standardised due to the lithography technique invented by Alois Senefelder. Finally, another invention was photography, whose establishment at the end of the century led to the first halftoning and reproduction procedures. The step-by-step development of a modern mass society provided a growing demand of printed matters. Besides the traditional letterpress beginnings of a newspaper landscape as well as a broad market for publications, advertisements, and posters of all kinds appeared. The challenges had changed: since printing and typography had been a straightforward craft for centuries, it now had to face the challenges of a industry-ruled mass society.