Simon McArdle

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Typography is associated with great design for web and print. However, it was not so long ago that typesetting for printing presses was the norm. During this era of typesetting, many technical terms evolved for the construction and makeup of fonts and layout. It was like a secret code for typesetters, where few outside of the industry had any knowledge of the terms being used. The Logo Company has put together this clever graphic that decodes these technical terms associated with type and explains the meaning of each term in simple, plain English, that anyone can understand.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Listed here are the technical terms used with fonts and type and their associated meanings:

Aperture

An area entirely or partially enclosed by a letter form or a symbol.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Arm

The arm of a letter is the horizontal stroke on some characters that does not connect to a stroke or stem at one or both ends.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Ascender

An upward vertical stroke found on the part of lowercase letters that extend upward.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Ball Terminal

A type of curve at the end of any stroke that does not include a serif.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Bowl

The curved part of the character that encloses the circular or curved parts of a letter.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Counter

The open space in a fully or partly closed area within a letter.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Crossbar

The horizontal stroke across the middle of uppercase A and H.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Descender

The part of a letter that extends below the baseline.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Ear

A small stroke extending from the upper-right side of the bowl of a lowercase g.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Eye

The eye refers specifically to the enclosed space in a lowercase e.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Kerning

The process of adjusting spacing between characters in a word.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Leading

The amount of space between lines of words.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Leg

A stroke that extends downward at less than 90 degrees is a leg, as seen on the letters k, K and R.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Loop

The lower portion of the lowercase g.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Ligature

A combo of two or more characters that are joined into one form which are not commonly combined.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Serif And Sans Serif

Serif is the small, finishing strokes on the arms, stems, and tails of characters. When a character does not have the finishing strokes, it is called sans-serif.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Shoulder

The curved stroke aiming downward from a stem.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Spur

A small projection off a main stem.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Stem

The stem is the main , usually vertical stroke of a letter.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Tail

A characters downward projection such as on the letter Q.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Terminal

The end of a stroke not terminated with a serif.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

Tittle

A small distinguishing mark, such as a diacritic on a lowercase i or j.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

X-Height

The height that lowercase letters reach based on a height of lowercase x. Does not include ascenders and descenders.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

X-Line

A line marking the top of those lowercase letters, such as o, having no ascenders.

Typography And Font Deconstruction

2 comments so far to - Typography And Font Deconstruction -

    • Simon McArdle says

      Ha Ha, Surely you an see beauty in everything :) I lay awake at night dreaming of new parts of the font that have not yet been named or layouts that I can call after someone I love.

      Simon

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