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.

Deconstruction the technical terms associated with fonts and type.

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.

Aperture description for type

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.

Description of Arm - a typographical term

Ascender

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

Description of the technical term ascender used in type.

Ball Terminal

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

A description of the technical term ball terminal used in fonts.

Bowl

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

Description of the technical term bowl used in type.

Counter

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

Description of the technical term counter used in typesetting.

Crossbar

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

Technical term crossbar used in typography.

Descender

The part of a letter that extends below the baseline.

Description of the technical term descender used in fonts.

Ear

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

Technical description of the term ear used in type.

Eye

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

Description of the technical term eye used in typography and typesetting.

Kerning

The process of adjusting spacing between characters in a word.

Description of the technical term kerning used in typesetting and fonts.

Leading

The amount of space between lines of words.

Description of the technical term leading used in type.

Leg

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

Description of the technical type term leg used in fonts and typography.

Loop

The lower portion of the lowercase g.

Description of the technical term loop used in typesetting.

Ligature

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

Description of the technical term ligature used in typography .

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.

Technical description of the terms serif and sans-serif used in fonts.

Shoulder

The curved stroke aiming downward from a stem.

Description of the technical term shoulder used in type.

Spur

A small projection off a main stem.

Description of the technical term spur used in typesetting.

Stem

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

Description of the technical term stem used in fonts.

Tail

A characters downward projection such as on the letter Q.

Description of the technical term tail used in typography.

Terminal

The end of a stroke not terminated with a serif.

Description of the technical term terminal used in type.

Tittle

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

Description of the technical term tittle used in fonts and typography.

X-Height

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

Description of the technical term x-height used in type.

X-Line

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

Description of the technical term x-line used in typography, typesetting and fonts.

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