Hagen 01 — Common Terms for talking about Typegraphy
July 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm #75458
Designing is hard when people don’t or can not tell you what they do not like a font. the vague pointing and long hums and just the general confusions made me think that others might be having this problem.
Abrupt Serif: A serif which breaks suddenly from the stem at an angle.
Anti-aliasing: Blurring the edges of a font on screen to soften the look of bitmapped type. Anti-aliasing is usually desirable at large point sizes (16 points or above).
Ascender: That part of a lowercase letter that rises above the x-height, as in letters ‘b’, ‘d’, ‘f’, ‘h’, ‘k’, ‘t’ and ‘l’.
ASCII The American Standard Code for Information Interchange, a standard character set defined by ANSI, the American National Standards Institure.
Baseline: The imaginary line upon which the letters in a font appear to rest.
Ball Terminal: A circular form at the end of the arm in letters such as a, c, f, j, r, and y. Examples of faces which use ball terminals are Bodoni and Clarendon.
Bowls: are strokes that enclose a white space, like those that make the o and O. The two parts in the g are also bowls. Where a curve partially encloses a space it is also sometimes called a bowl, as in C. But it shouldn’t be. In a B you have two bowls. In the C you have a curved stroke and a
Cap Height; The distance from baseline to cap line of an alphabet, which is the approximate height of the uppercase letters. It is often less, but sometimes greater, than the height of the ascending lowercase letters
Counter: open space in a fully or partly closed portion of a letter (e.g., q, Q, d, D)
Cross stroke: horizontal stroke that intersects the stem of a lowercase t or f
Descender: That portion of a letter that falls below the baseline, as in ‘j’, ‘g’, ‘q’, ‘p’ and ‘y’. A dash the width of the letter “m” used in text to separate a parenthetical note as an alternate to parenthesis.
Ear: small stroke extending from the upper-right side of the bowl of lowercase g; also appears in the angled or curved lowercase r
Emdash: Expert set: A font that contains special characters, such as fractions, ligatures, extra accents, and alternate glyphs. Because TrueType and PostScript only support a certain number of glyphs, some characters that are not used as frequently come in an expert font. OpenType fonts on the other hand, have the capacity for thousands of glyphs, so one font can include all these extras plus other glyph sets such as small caps.
Interword space: Font (also, fount): A collection of typefaces that typically share design elements. The horizontal space between words on a line. Interword space can be adjusted to achieve justification.
Kerning: Kerning refers to the horizontal space between individual pairs of letters (a kerning pair). Fonts that are properly kerned appear evenly spaced without large open gaps of white space between characters.
Leading: The vertical space between lines of text (baseline to baseline). Also known as linespacing.
Letterspacing: Adjustment of the interletter space within words so as to achieve equal optical space, or sometimes line justification
Oblique: A font that is slanted. Oblique fonts are different from italic fonts, in that they are mechanically sheared, then slightly adjusted. Italic fonts, on the other hand, are designed differently from upright or roman versions. They are usually narrower than their roman counterparts, and reflect more of a calligraphic sensibility than lowercase oblique fonts.
Pixel: Originally, this word was short for the term “picture element”. A pixel is a single rectangular point in a larger graphic image composed of many rectangular points. Computer monitors can display pictures because the screen is divided into millions of pixels arranged in rows and columns. Pixels are so close together that from a distance they appear to be connected.
Point: A unit of measure used by printers, equal to 1/72 inch. See also Didot point
Small Caps (SC): Small caps are capital letters that are not the full height of the capital letters. Many applications can create small caps by scaling down the capital letters, but these false small caps lack the proper weight and proportions. A true small cap typeface retains the appropriate character weight but offers it at a smaller size.
Spur: small stroke at the base of a stem (occurs in some designs of G)
Swash: ornamental additions to some letters
Tail: short, downward stroke in K, Q, and R
Vertex: the point at the bottom or top of a character where two strokes meet (V, A, W); see also Crotch
Weight: A single style or iteration of a typeface. Sometimes, the term “weight” is used to specifically refer to the heaviness of a typeface. However, it is often used as a general term for any style: Italic, Small Caps, Bold, Light Expert, etc.
X-height: height which lowercase letters reach based on height of lowercase x; does not include ascenders or descenders
July 10, 2009 at 2:17 am #75460
Great Primer for us new guys……….new old guys
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