Vocabulary

  • Ascender– the part of a lowercase letter that extends above the x-height line.
  • Descender– the part of a lowercase letter that extends below the baseline.
  • Display Typeface-Traditionally a Font used in a very large point size for display only. The font might be altered to read better at a larger size and might not have a whole set of characters.
  • Font– is a specific size, or style (such as italic or roman) of a typeface.  (The term font, and typeface are not interchangeable).  as an example: Garamond is the typeface, 11pt. garamond italic is one font.
  • Grotesque-an early term for sans serif a typeface. The fore runner to Helvetica is Akzidenz-Grostesk
  • Kerning– adjusts the space between pairs of letters, not the whole word.
  • Leading– the distance between successive lines of type. From the lead strip originally used by hand typesetters to control vertical spacing between lines of type.
  • Ligature– a letterform where two or more letters are joined together ( fi, fl for example)
(above) some examples of ligatures
space
  • Lowercase– small letters including ascenders and descenders (located in the lower drawers in a printers/hand compositors type case)
  • Orphan– A first paragraph (opening line) that appears by itself at the bottom of a column of type, separated from the rest of the paragraph. Also a word that appears by itself at the end of a paragraph.
  • Roman-The upright vertical form of a letter v. say the italics
  • Sans Serif– a letterform without a serif (Helvetica is a sans serif typeface)
(above) Akzidenz – is a sans serif font or as it was called a Grostesk
space
  • Serif-a line/stroke/mark at the terminal end of a letter. (Garamond is a serif typeface)
  • Style– Variations within the typeface;  ie: italics, roman, bold, bold ital, condensed.
  • Tracking– adjusts the space between characters evenly, regardless of the shape of the letters.
  • Typeface– The overall design of the letterforms. A typeface is a collection of letters, numbers, and symbols that have been designed for stylistic unity and legibility.
  • Uppercase– a capital letter (located in the upper drawers in a printers/hand compositors type case)
  • Widow– a paragraph-ending line that falls at the beginning of the following page/column, thus separated from the remainder of the text.
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