28 terms

Typography Terms

Terms associated with graphic designer's use of type.
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Ascender
The part of a lowercase letter that rises above the x-height, as in b, d,f, h, k, l,and t
Body type
Type 12 points and smaller
Characters
Individual letters, numerals, punctuation marks or other symbols
Descender
The part of a lowercase letter that goes below the x- height, as in g, j, p, q, and y
Dingbat
A typographic decorative device such as a bullet or star
Display type
Type 14 points or larger
Family
All the typestyles of a particular typeface: Bold, Italic, Normal
Font
All the characters of a particular typeface
Kerning
Adjusting the letterspacing between certain letters to bring them closer together and create uniformity
Leading
The space between lines of type
Letterspacing
Amount of space between letters
Line gauge
Printer's ruler that is calibrated in picas, points, and inches
Lowercase
Small letters of the alphabet
Measure
The width of a line of type
Pica
Unit of measurement equaling approximately 1/6 of an inch or 12 points
Point
Unit of measurement equaling approximately 1/72 of an inch or 1/12 of a pica;used to express type size or leading
River
Distracting pattern of white space running vertically down through body copy
Serifs
Short cross-strokes that project out at the end of the main letter strokes in some typefaces
Small caps
Capital letters that are the same size as the x-height of the typeface
Straight matter
Body type set in normal paragraph form in contrast to tabular matter
Tabular matter
Charts, tables, formulas, or other elements that make typesetting complicated and time consuming
Type
Characters used singly or collectively to create words, sentences, paragraph, blocks of copy, etc.
Typeface
A particular style or design of type
Typography
The art and science of working with type
Uppercase
Capital letters of the alphabet
Widow
End of a paragraph or column that is undesirably short
Wordspacing
Amount of space between words
x-height
The distance between the baseline and mean line of type; the height of a lowercase letter excluding the ascenders or descenders