Top Questions about Typography

  • What is Typography?

    Typography is the visual styling of type, or written words. Typeface is arranged to be appealing and to communicate data.
  • What is a font?

    Fonts are sets of characters in a typeface with specific styling and size, including letters, numbers, marks and special characters.
  • What is a Font Family?

    A font family is a font set with similar qualities in design.
  • What is a Stroke?

    A stroke is any straight or curved line that makes up a letter.
  • What is a Stem?

    A stem is the main straight, vertical stroke in a letter. Examples include the letters 'B' and 'V'.
  • What is a Foot in a letter?

    The foot is the part of the stem that rests on the baseline.
  • What is the Tail in a letter?

    The tail is the descending stroke in a letter. A tail is usually decorative. Examples include the letter 'q'.
  • What is a Bowl?

    The bowl is the curved line in a letter that closes the rounded portions.
  • What is a Counter?

    The counter is the fully or partially enclosed space in a letter created by a curved line, or bowl.
  • What is the Spine?

    The spine refers to only the letter 's'. It is the main curved stroke of a letter that can be either horizontal or vertical.
  • What is the Terminal of a letter?

    The terminal is a curved line that ends a letter without decorative feet or a serif.
  • What is Uppercase?

    Uppercase is the larger, capital letters of a typeface.
  • What is Lowercase?

    Lowercase is the small letters of a typeface.
  • What are Small Caps?

    Small caps are capital letters that are the same height as the lowercase, or x-height, of that typeface.
  • What is Font Weight?

    Font weight is the heaviness of a stroke of a font. Some common font weights include light, semibold and bold.
  • What is Point Size?

    Point size is a unit of measure for the size of text. There are about 72 points in one inch.
  • What is Serif Typeface?

    Serif typeface is a typeface with decorative feet, or lines, on the ends of letters.
  • What is Sans Serif Typeface?

    Sans serif typeface is a typeface without serifs, or decorative lines, on the ends of letters.
  • What is Slab Serif?

    Slab serif is a serif typeface with thick, square-shaped strokes. Slab serif is typically used in headlines and titles.
  • What is Script?

    Script is a typeface similar to handwritten cursive.
  • What is Italics?

    Italics is a font style that angles characters slightly to the right.
  • What is a Baseline?

    A baseline is the horizontal line where all letter sit, marking the lowest point of uppercase letters and most lowercase letters except descenders.
  • What is a Midline?

    Midline, also known as the 'mean line' or 'median' in typography, refers to the line at the top of lowercase letters where non-ascending letters stop.
  • What is X-Height?

    X-height is the maximum height of lowercase letters, or the distance from the baseline to midline. The x-height is typically measured by the height of the letter 'x' in each typeface.
  • What is Cap Height?

    Cap height is the distance from the baseline to the top height of uppercase or capital letters.
  • What is the Ascender?

    The ascender is the portion of a lowercase letter that extends above the x-height, such as letters 'b', 'd,' and 'h.'
  • What is the Descender?

    The descender is the portion of a lowercase letter that extends below the baseline, such as letters 'g,' 'j,' and 'p.'
  • What is Tracking?

    Tracking, also known as 'letter-spacing', is the even spacing of all characters in a word or sentence.
  • What is Leading?

    Leading, pronounced 'ledding', refers to the vertical space between lines of text. Adjusting the distance between baselines for legibility is also known as line-height or line spacing.
  • What is Copy?

    Body copy is the editorial text in a digital design, print publication or other medium.
  • What is Lorem Ipsum?

    Lorem Ipsum, also known as 'dummy copy', is text that resembles Latin and is used as a temporary placeholder in design to be replaced with real content.
  • What is a Pull Quote?

    A pull quote is a short phrase or excerpt from the body text that is emphasized or visually highlighted to add interest.
  • What is an Orphan?

    An orphan is a word or short line that appears alone at the end of a paragraph or the beginning of a column or page.
  • What is a Widow?

    A widow is the last word or shot line of a paragraph appearing separately on the following column or page, or beginning a new paragraph at the bottom of a column or page.
  • What is text Alignment?

    Alignment is the arranging of the position of all design elements to the same line. Common alignments includes left, right, centered or justified.