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    The sans-serif, with its clean lines and pared-down aesthetic, came to be seen as characteristically modern in the '20s. New sans-serif types were celebrated alongside abstract painting, boxy functionalist architecture, and sleek untraditional furniture as the design most suited to modern life.

    In architecture and design, this modernist aesthetic came to be known as the International Style; and the "internationality" of the new sans-serif designs was also touted at the time. Modernist architects such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) rejected the idea of buildings with revivalist Greco-Roman columns or ornate French Baroque roofs, insisting on simplified boxes of steel and glass belonging to no particular national tradition; likewise, sans-serif letterforms were stripped down to their essences, which ostensibly would be the same in any nation that used the Latin alphabet.