Typeface: An alphabet designed with consistent visual characteristics.

Font: A set of characters in the same size comprising all the letters of the alphabet in both upper- and lowercase including all the figures and symbols of punctuation. Points and Picas: The standard measurements used for type specifications are the Point (approx. 1/72 of an inch) and the Pica (which is equivalent to 12 points). (A point is roughly equivalent to a screen pixel, or 72 "dots" per inch.)

NOTE: The above graphic is provided for visual comparisons between the various units of measure that are commonly used by designers and printers. As noted, it has been enlarged 4 times it's actual size. By enlarging the image, points, the smallest increment (1/72nd of an inch) can be seen clearly. Text Type (or Body Text): Type used for continuous reading, usually set between 9 and 12 points, depending on the x-height, column width and other factors. Display Type: Type used for noncontinuous reading (headings, subheadings), usually set at 14 points and above. Roman (or Normal): Characterized by its vertical orientation. Usually refers to serif faces. Italic: The term used when a slanted style is used with serif type. Generally, italic is preferred over bold where emphasis is required. Oblique: The term used for slanted sans serif type.

Weights: A style of type whose designations are based on the stroke width of a face. The most common weights are light, normal or book, semi-bold, bold, and extra bold.

Condensed: Faces that are taller than usual in proportion to their width. Extended (or Expanded): Faces that are wider in proportion to their height.

Text made up of typefaces with very large x-heights tends to exhibit some of the same problems as words that lack the visual outlines we are used to seeing.

Since serif faces tend to move the eye along the horizontal direction of reading, the serifs themselves become an additional means of differentiating letters from one another. It is widely assumed that serif typefaces are more legible than sans serif ones. It has not been conclusively shown that sans serifs decrease legibility, yet many people do find that in continuous reading sans serif type can be tiring. The key relationships for readability are, therefore, those that exist between visual type size (characters per pica), line length, and line spacing.

Measure (or Column Length or Width): The length of a typeset line from left to right given in picas. The pica measurement of a line of type, is written “x 24” (24 picas wide) and spoken “by 24 picas.” Or “set on a 24 - pica measure.”: Some guidelines: • • • • • Use 40 to 70 characters per line (approx. 812 words). Increase leading if line length is longer. Sans serif type works better in narrower column (not more than 60 characters per line). Line length = 30 times the size of type (20—40 picas); example: l0 pt type x 30 = 300 pts or 25 picas (300/12). Typical lowercase alphabet length for l0 pt text = 128 pts; therefore, a 25 pica measure = 65 characters per line.

Given the guidelines above, keep in mind that other factors, such as the design of the face and the nature of the material, must also be taken into consideration. Leading (or Line Spacing or Interline Spacing or Baseline to Baseline Spacing): The amount of vertical space between lines of type. Leading measurements are expressed as two numbers: the typeface point size followed by the baseline to baseline measurement: • • 10/12 (read “10 on 12,” or “10 over 12,” as in a fraction) designates 10 - point type with 2 extra points (12) added for leading. 10/10 is called “setsolid” and has no extra space between lines (10 point type and 10 point leading). An indicator of good type design: When “set solid,” that is, no extra leading added, type is still readable, and ascenders and descenders don’t touch each other. For body text leading, a good rule of thumb is to add approximately 20% to the point size. 10 - point body text plus 20% = 12 points of leading, or 10/12. 9 - point type plus 20% rounded up = 11 points of leading, or 9/11.

• • •

Rough guidelines for leading • • • • • 9, 10, 11- point type needs 1 to 3 extra points leading 12 - point needs 2 to 4 extra points 14 - point needs 3 to 6 extra points 16 - point needs 4 to 6 extra points 18 - point needs 5 to 6 extra points

Generally, consider adding more leading when using sans serif type for body text because uniformity of line weight makes it harder for the reader to track. In the guidelines above, the higher leading value would more likely be applied to sans serif body text. Headings require less leading (even negative leading), because too much space makes the text look choppy

Type anatomy
Typeface anatomy or letter anatomy refers to the individual segments and features of a particular character. Certain pieces are common to most characters and some are unique to only one or two characters in a typeface.

The basic typographic element is called a character, which is any individual letter, numeral, or punctuation mark. The capital letters are called caps, or uppercase (u.c.) characters. Small letters are called lowercase (l.c.) characters. Numbers are called numerals or figures.

Modern, or lining numerals are cap height.

Oldstyle numerals have ascenders and descenders.

Special characters
Pi characters are special characters used for:

Math signs

Punctuation marks

Accented characters

Reference marks

On Macintosh computers, special characters can be viewed for any font with the Key Caps utility under the apple menu. Ligatures are character pairs which have been re-designed as optional single characters.

Standard characters set in Adobe Garamond.

Ligature characters set in Adobe Garamond Expert and Adobe Garamond Alternative.

Character components
Typographic characters have basic component parts. The easiest way to differentiate characteristics of type designs is by comparing the structure of these components. The following terms identify some of the components referred to in the next chapter.

Ascender The lowercase character stroke which extends above the x-height. Bar The horizontal stroke on the characters ‘A’, ‘H’, ‘T’, ‘e’, ‘f’, ‘t’. Baseline The imaginary horizontal line to which the body, or main component, of characters are aligned. Bowl The curved stroke which surrounds a counter. Bracket A curved line connecting the serif to the stroke.

Bracketed serifs with cupped bases

Brecketed serifs with flat bases

Unbracketed serifs

Contrast The amount of variation in between thick and thin strokes.

Minimum contrast

Extreme contrast

Counter The empty space inside the body stroke. Descender. The lowercase character stroke which extends below the baseline. Loop The bottom part of the lowercase roman ‘g’.

Sans serif From the French, meaning “without serif”. A typeface which has no serifs.Sans serif typefaces are typically uniform in stroke width. Serif Tapered corners on the ends of the main stroke. Serifs originated with the chiseled guides made by ancient stonecutters as they lettered monuments. Some serif designs may also be traced back to characteristics of hand calligraphy. Note that serif type is typically thick and thin in stroke weight. Shoulder The part of a curved stroke coming from the stem. Stem A stroke which is vertical or diagonal. Stress The direction in which a curved stroke changes weight.

Oblique, or angled, stress

Semi-oblique stress

Vertical stress

Terminal The end of a stroke which does not terminate in a serif. X-height The height of the body, minus ascenders and descenders, which is equal to the height of the lowercase ‘x’.

Avant Garde


Goudy Oldstyle

X-heights vary among typefaces in the same point size and strongly effect readability and gray vaule of text blocks.

Recommended Visit : http://www.typographydeconstructed.com

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