Type Terminology

Accent Marks:  Examples Acute, Asciltilde, Breve, Caron, Cedilia, Circumflex, Dieresls, Dotaccent, Grave, Hungarumlaut, Macron, Ogonek, Ring, Tilde

Ascender Height: Officially the distance from the top of the lowercase x to the top of lowercase letters with ascenders like f,d or k.

Baseline: Seems pretty obvious-it’s the line on which letters stand.

Dipthong: Ligature formed by two vowels coming together to form one character

Ear: Little boxes of type on either side of a newspaper or magazine title. Often contain the weather or inside previews.

Face: Surface of a letter that gets inked.

Folio: The page number in a document. The blind folio is a page with no number. Drop folio is when the numbers appears at the bottom of the page.

Hairline: The smallest available rule in any system. Technically 1/2 point.

Inline: Starts at the edge of a letter and goes in.

Outline: Starts at the same edge and goes out from the letter.

Online: Half in Half out.

Flush left same as ragged right.

Flush right ragged left.

Flush left and right will get you justified columns.

Kerning: Adjusting of space between letters (particularly those that don’t fit together well) to make for better looking words. But that’s a little like saying you band on piano keys to make music.
Its an art that you are either born with or you master after years of painstaking practice.

Ligature: When two letters are combined to form one, like in fi or fl. But did you know that all type that is connected such as most scripts is said to be ligated.

Metrics: All of the information about how a font fits together, like kerning information and character widths.

Oblique: Roman type that has been artificially slanted to look italic.

Parts of letter:

Apex: The point where two diagonal strokes meet as in the top of the uppercase A or M

Arm: Horizontal strokes on letters like T or E

Bar: The cross horizontal piece connecting two strokes.

Beak: A serif at the end of a horizontal stroke.

Bowl: Round parts of letters like P, B and the upper part of g.

Counter: The enclosed part of a letter such as the P or p

Ear: The little part that sticks out to the right of the lowercase g.

Eye: The enclosed part of the lowercase.

Link: The connecting line of a lowercase g between the loop and the upper bowl.

Loop: The lower part of the g, also call the tail.

Serif: The fine line finishing off the end of the stroke.

Spur: The little stick out part of some letters like G or t.

Stress: The implied angle between the thinnest parts of curved letter. Point of maximum stress is the thickest part of the curved letters like O or D

Tail: A stroke extending below the baseline, like the lowercase j or uppercase Q. Sometimes called leg.

Vertex: Where two downward diagonal strokes cross, as in an M or W.

Pillcrow: Paragraph symbol.

Pixel: Smallest point displayed on a computer screen.

Sans Serif: Without sans. Type of this sort called grotesque or gothic.

x-height: The height of the lowercase x. Referred as mean line.


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