Font and Typography

  1. Ascender
    • lowercase letters (such as k, b, and d) that ascends (extend/rise) above the x-height.
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  2. Baseline
    • The baseline is the imaginary rule where lines of text sit.
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  4. Body text
    • paragraphs in a document
    • make up the bulk of its content
    • easy to read face, typically at 10 or 12 point size
  5. Cap-height
    The height from the baseline, to the cap line (top of a standard capital letter). (just below the ascender line).
  6. Condensed fonts
    • A narrower version of a font,
    • used to fit a maximum number of characters into a given space.
  7. Alignment
    • The positioning of text within the text block or frame.
    • flush left (or justified left), flush right, (or justified right), justified, or centred.
  8. Baseline
    • The imaginary line on which the majority of the characters in a typeface rest.
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  9. Body text
    • The paragraphs in a document that make up the bulk of
    • its content. Body text should be set in an appropriate and easy to read face, typically at 10 or 12 point size.
  10. Boldface
    • A typeface that has been enhanced by rendering it in darker, thicker strokes so that it will stand out on the page.
    • Headlines that need emphasis should be boldface.
    • Italics are preferable for emphasis in body text.
  11. Bullet
    A dot or other special character placed at the left of items in a list to show that they are individual, but related, points.
  12. Cap height
    • The height from the baseline to the top of the uppercase letters in a font.
    • This may or may not be the same as the height of ascenders. Some times Just below ascenders height.
    • Cap height is used in some systems to measure the type size.
  13. Character mapping/Character encoding
    A single letter, punctuation mark, number, space, or any other object or symbol in a typeface set.

    maps character codes to glyphs in a font.

    • In the context of modern computer operating systems, it is often defined as a code with a meaning attached to it.
    • For example, the decimal character code 97 represents the letter a.
    • Adobe's OpenType fonts are based on Unicode.
    • Also see keyboard layout, Open Type, Unicode.
  14. Condensed
    A narrower version of a font, used to fit a maximum number of characters into a given space.
  15. Contrast
    • A subjective feeling that graphic elements (such as fonts) are different but work together well.
    • This gives a feeling of variety without losing harmony.
    • Within a particular font, contrast also refers to the differences of stroke thicknesses that make up the characters.
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  16. Copyfitting
    adjusting the size and spacing of type to make it fit within a defined area of the page.
  17. Decorative Font
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    • Decorative fonts are often ornate and attention-grabbing.
    • a decorative font, if the thought of reading an entire book in that font makes you wanna throw up, you can probably put it in the decorative pot.
  18. Descender
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    • The part of lowercase letters (such as y, p, and q) that descends below the baseline of the other lowercase letters in a font. In some typefaces, the uppercase J and Q also descend below the baseline.
  19. Dingbats
    Symbol characters such as decorations, arrows, and bullets.
  20. Display Fonts
    • Another category of fonts with characteristics similar to decorative fonts.
    • In some typeface families, a font is categorized as a display font when it has been specifically designed for larger sizes (usually over 24 points) with thinner strokes, more delicate serifs, etc.
  21. dpi
    • dots per inch.
    • Resolution of a monitor or printer, can display text and graphics.
    • Monitors are usually 72 to 120 dpi or less
    • Laser printers are usually 600 dpi or higher.

    An image printed on a laser printer looks sharper than the same image on a monitor.
  22. Drop Cap
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    • A design treatment in which the first capital letter of a paragraph is set in a larger point size and aligned with the top of the first line.
    • This method is used to indicate the start of a new section of text, such as a chapter.
  23. Ellipsis
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    • A punctuation character consisting of three dots, or periods, in a row.
    • It indicates that a word or phrase has been omitted.
  24. em, em space, em quad
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    • Common units of measurement in typography.
    • An em is traditionally defined as the width of the uppercase M in the current face and point size.
    • It is more properly defined as simply the current point size.
    • For example, in 12 point type, one em is a distance of 12 points.
  25. en, en space, en quad
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    • Common units of measurement in typography.
    • An en is traditionally defined as the width of the uppercase N in the current face and the current point size.
    • It is more properly defined as half the width of an em.
  26. em dash
    A dash the length of an em, used to indicate a break in a sentence: His friend-also an editor-thought the same thing.
  27. en dash
    • A dash the length of an en, used to indicate a range of values: 1960-1990.
    • encoding: See character encoding.
  28. expert set, expert collection
    • A font that has a more refined, or expanded, set of typographic characters than regular fonts.
    • Expert sets may contain oldstyle figures, ligatures, small capitals, embellishments, fractions, or other unique characters.
  29. Family / Type Family
    • A collection of typefaces that were designed and intended to be used together.
    • For example, the Utopia family consists of roman and italic styles, as well as regular, semibold, and bold weights.
    • Each of the style and weight combinations is referred to as a font or typeface.
  30. Flush Left
    • Text that is aligned on the
    • left margin is said to be set flush left = ragged right
    • aligned on the right margin is said to be set flush right or flush right, ragged left.

    • The term ragged right is sometimes used alone to mean flush left.
    • The term ragged left is sometimes used alone to mean flush right
  31. flush right
    Text that is aligned on the right margin is said to be set flush right or flush right, ragged left. The term ragged left is sometimes used alone to mean the same thing.
  32. Font
    • One weight, width, and style of a typeface: Optima Bold and Helvetica Light Condensed are examples of fonts. Before digital type, a font usually referred to a specific point size of a particular style of a typeface. For example, 48-point Helvetica Bold would have been considered a font. Today, the terms font, typeface, and family are often used interchangeably, though family usually refers to the general type design, such as Helvetica, and font and typeface usually refer to the specific weight, width, or style of a type design, such as Helvetica Bold.
    • font family~See family.
  33. Glyph
    In the context of modern computer operating systems, glyph is often defined as a shape in a font that is used to represent a character code on screen or paper. The most common example of a glyph is a letter in a specific font, but the symbols and shapes in a font like ITC Zapf Dingbats are also glyphs. Also see character, character encoding, keyboard layout.
  34. hanging indent
    A document style in which the first line of a paragraph is aligned with the left margin, and the remaining lines are all indented an equal amount. This is an effective way to display lists of information.
  35. Headline
    The short lines of emphasized text that introduce detail information in the body text that follows. Also the category of typefaces that are designed to work best in headline text.
  36. Headline font
    A font that has been designed to look good at large point sizes for use in headlines. Headline fonts generally do not contain a complete set of characters since they do not require a full set of special symbols and punctuation.
  37. Hints
    The mathematical instructions added to digital fonts to make them sharp at all sizes and on display devices of different resolutions.
  38. Italic
    A slanting or script-like version of a face. The upright faces are often referred to as roman. Some publishing applications allow you to apply a computer-generated, or fake, italicized style to a roman font. Using this technique is not recommended. Also see oblique.
  39. Justified
    A block of text that has been spaced so that the text aligns on both the left and right margins. Justified text has a more formal appearance, but may be harder to read if not properly set.
  40. Kerning
    The adjustment of horizontal space between individual characters in a line of text. Without kerning adjustments, many letter combinations can look awkward. The objective of kerning is to create visually equal spaces between all letters so that the eye can move smoothly along the text. Some combinations of characters naturally have excessive space between them (such as Ta or Vo) and must be manually adjusted by the designer or typographer. These adjusted combinations are called kerned pairs. Kerning may be applied automatically by desktop publishing programs based on tables of values built into the font. Some programs also allow manual kerning to make fine adjustments. Adjustments in kerning are especially important in large display and headline text lines. Also see letterspacing.
  41. keyboard layout, keyboard mapping
    A keyboard layout or mapping is a table used by a computer operating system to govern which character code is generated when a key or key combination is pressed. Sometimes known as a character mapping. Also see character, character encoding, glyph.
  42. Leading: (pronounced ledding)
    The amount of space added between lines of text to make the document legible. The term originally referred to the thin lead spacers that printers used to physically increase space between lines of metal type. Most applications automatically apply standard leading based on the point size of the font. Closer leading fits more text on the page, but decreases legibility. Looser leading spreads text out to fill a page and makes the document easier to read. Leading can also be negative, in which case the lines of text are so close that they overlap or touch.
  43. Letterspacing
    Adjusting the average distance between letters in a block of text to fit more or less text into the given space or to improve legibility. Kerning allows adjustments between individual letters, letters pacing is applied to a block of text as a whole. Letterspacing is sometimes referred to as tracking or track kerning. Letter spacing is often adjusted to open up the look of a typeface or to add drama to a headline by stretching it across a page. Also see kerning, tracking.
  44. Ligature
    Two or more letters combined into a single letterform. In some typefaces, character combinations such as fi and fl overlap, resulting in an unsightly shape. The fi and fl ligatures were designed to improve the appearance of these characters. Letter combinations such as ff, ffi, and ffi are available in Adobe's expert set fonts and in most OpenType Pro fonts. OpenType fonts may also have other ligatures designed to improve appearance of other letter combinations (such as Th) or for artistic effect.
  45. multiple master
    A class of PostScript font developed by Adobe that allows you to modify and create new fonts based on a particular style. For instance, you could create fonts that are bolder or expanded while still maintaining the correct proportions, stroke width changes, and other subtle design characteristics of the original typeface. Also see PostScript, PostScript Type 1.
  46. Oblique
    A slanting version of a face. Oblique is similar to italic, but without the script quality of a true italic. The upright faces are usually referred to as roman. Also see italic.
  47. OpenType
    A cross-platform font file format developed by Adobe and Microsoft. OpenType is an extension to the TrueType file format that can now support PostScript font data and new typographic features. Based on Unicode, OpenType fonts may include an expanded character set and layout features to provide richer linguistic support and advanced typographic control. Feature-rich Adobe OpenType fonts are distinguished by the word Pro, which is part of the font name and appears in application font menus. OpenType fonts can be installed and used alongside PostScript Type 1 and TrueType fonts. Also see Unicode, TrueType, PostScript Type.
  48. optical size
    A specific typeface design that is tailored for the point size it is to be used at. Several of Adobe's OpenType fonts include four optical size variations-caption, regular, subhead, and display-that have been optimized for use at specific point sizes. Although the exact intended sizes vary by family, the general size ranges include: caption (6-8 point), regular (9-13 point), subhead (14-24 point), and display (25-72 point). Several of Adobe's Multiple Master fonts also include the ability to select an optical Size.
  49. PFB file
    The portion of a Windows PostScript Type 1 font that contains the font's outline information.
  50. PFM file
    The portion of a Windows PostScript Type 1 font that contains the font's metrics information.
  51. paragraph rules
    Graphic lines associated with a paragraph that separate blocks of text. Rules are commonly used to separate columns and isolate graphics on a page. Some programs allow paragraph styles to be created that include paragraph rules above and/or below the paragraph.
  52. Pica
    A unit of measure in typography. One pica is equal to 12 points. The traditional British and American pica is 0.166 inches. In PostScript printers, a pica is exactly 1/6 of an inch.
  53. picture font
    A font that displays pictures or symbols instead of letters or characters. Picture fonts are useful for making logos, borders or interesting bullets. Like clip art, they can also be used as graphic raw material in some graphics software packages, such as Adobe Photoshop· or Adobe Illustrator. Also known as pi fonts, symbol fonts, and dingbats.
  54. Point
    A unit of measure in typography. There are approximately 72 points to the inch. One pica is 12 points.
  55. point size
    The most common method of measuring type. The distance from the top of the highest ascender to the bottom of the lowest descender in points. In Europe, type is sometimes measured by the cap height in millimeters.
  56. PostScript
    Adobe's mathematically-based page description language that communicates with your output device and conveys information regarding how to create complex letter shapes and graphics. Developed by Adobe in 1985.
  57. PostScript Type 1
    A font format designed to conform to the PostScript page description language. On Windows, PostScript Type 1 fonts consist of a PFB file that contains the font's outline information and a PFM file that contains the font's metrics. On the Mac OS platform, PostScript fonts are composed of screen fonts (or bitmapped fonts) and printer fonts (or outline fonts). PostScript fonts require a PostScript printer to render accurately or they can be printed to a non-PostScript output device using Adobe Type Manager. Also see PostScript font, Multiple Master.
  58. printer font
    One of the two components of a PostScript font for the Mac OS. The printer font contains mathematically-defined outlines for all characters (or glyphs) in that font, and is downloaded to the printer when that font is used in a document. Also known as an outline font.
  59. proportional figures
    Numerals that have different widths depending on their shape. When setting body text, it is preferable to use proportional figures. Also see tabular figures.
  60. raised cap
    A design treatment in which the first capital letter of a paragraph is set in a large point size and aligned with the baseline of the first line of text. Also see drop cap.
  61. Reverse
    The technique of printing or displaying white or lightcolored text on a black or dark background for emphasis. This technique greatly reduces legibility, especially with small type.
  62. Rivers
    Word spaces that align vertically from line to line in poorly justified text creating a distracting river of white space in a block of copy.
  63. Roman
    Commonly refers to the upright version of a face within a font family, as compared to the italic version.
  64. Rule
    A solid or dashed graphic line in documents used to separate the elements of a page. Rules and other graphic devices should be used sparingly, and only for clarifying the function of other elements on the page.
  65. sans serif
    A typeface that does not have serifs. With out feet
  66. screen font
    One of two components for a PostScript font on the Mac OS platform. These are created by sending electronic information to pixels (dots) on the computer screen thus allowing you to view the font on-screen. Also known as a bitmapped font.
  67. script font
    • Fonts that appear to have been hand lettered with a calligraphy pen or brush, or sometimes with a pencil or technical pen.
    • Serif~A small decorative stroke at the end of a letter's main strokes. Serifs improve readability by leading the eye along the line of type.
  68. Style
    One of the variations in appearance, such as italic and bold, that make up the faces in a type family.
  69. symbol font
    A category of type in which the characters are special symbols rather than alphanumeric characters.
  70. tabular figures
    Numerals that all have the same width. This makes it easier to set tabular matter. Most fonts have tabular figures. Also see proportional figures.
  71. text font
    Text fonts are used for body copy and are most commonly serif fonts. In large families of typefaces these are often denoted with the suffixes regular or book (for example, Utopia Regular or ITC Veljovic Book).
  72. Tracking
    Adjusting the average distance between letters in a block of text. Generally, large type requires proportionally less space between letters to appear subjectively right visually while small type requires more letter spacing to appear right. Also see letter-spacing.
  73. TrueType
    An outline font technology developed by Apple Computer.
  74. Typeface
    The letters, numbers, and symbols that make up a design of type. A typeface is often part of a type family of coordinated designs. The individual typefaces are named after the family and are also specified with a designation, such as italic, bold, or condensed. For example, the italic style of the Times family is referred to as a typeface or font.
  75. typographic color
    The apparent blackness of a block of text. Color is a function of the relative thickness of the strokes that make up the characters in a font, as well as the width, point size, and leading used for setting the text block.
  76. Unicode
    An international double-byte character encoding standard that encompasses virtually all of the world's languages. Supported by many of the leading hardware and software manufacturers, Unicode assigns a unique value to each of the characters (or glyphs) in all of the world's languages.
  77. Unjustified
    Depending on alignment, this term refers to text that is set flush left, flush right, or centered.
  78. Weight
    The relative darkness of the characters in the various typefaces within a type family. Weight is indicated by relative terms such as thin, light, bold, extra-bold, and black.
  79. white space
    The blank areas on a page where text and illustrations are not printed. White space should be considered an important graphic element in page design. Width~One of the possible variations of a typeface within a font family, such as condensed or extended.
  80. word spacing
    Adjusting the average distance between words to improve legibility or to fit a block of text into a given amount of space.
  81. x-height
    Traditionally, x-height is the height of the lowercase letter x. It is also the height of the body of lowercase letters in a font, excluding the ascenders and descenders. Some lowercase letters that do not have ascenders or descenders still extend a little bit above or below the x-height as part of their design. The x-height can vary greatly from typeface to typeface at the same point size.
  82. Examples of Baskerville, Garamond, Bodoni and Century Fonts.
    • Baskerville: Q is like a Z, C looks like Omega letter.
    • Garamond: Modern. Q is just simple leg, W is 2 V's intertwined, looks square.
    • Bodoni: Straight under Q, like Houdini, W is 2 narrow V's intertwined.
    • Century: Curly, dramatic, Victorian, V looks like 2 narrow V's next to each other, not intertwined.
  83. Slab serif

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    • Slab serif fonts have a bold, rectangular appearance and sometimes havefixed widths.
    • that all characters occupy the same amount of horizontal space (as in a typewriter).
    • They are sometimes described as sans-serif fonts with serifs because the underlying character shapes are often similar to sans-serif typefaces, with less variation between thin and thick shapes on the character.
Card Set
Font and Typography
Glossary of font terminology and typography