What exactly is the difference between a Grotesque and a Gothic? What's the relationship between Didot and Bodoni? And, for goodness' sakes, how DO you tell the difference between Helvetica and Arial.
To answer these, you can do a four-year degree in graphic design. You could purchase a copy of the excellent "Font. The Sourcebook." or "Designing with Type." Or you could head to Just Creative Design, and download their free 27-page eBook, "The Type Classification Handbook."The book helps determine between what Just Creative's Jacob Gass identifies as the ten classifications of type - Humanist, Garalde, Didone, Transitional, Lineal, Mechanistic, Blackletter, Decorative, Script and Manual - the basic foundations of learning typeography, providing a brief history and an overview of the characteristics of each.
And it's free, free, free! Grab your copy, and get to the learnin'.