The social character of written language became inscribed in its design
Trajan's Column, circa 114, cE.
Below the formal capitals inscribed on the base of the column, which are considered the pinnacle of Roman letter design (called Trajan typeface). These letters are remarkable for their elegance and consistency and the harmony of its proportions (though they were not used with the help of a compass or ruler). The serif effect is obtained by the chisel's indentation in the stone's surface.