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Dec 10 / Katie Buddingh

Vocabulary and such

Transitional type

A typestyle, which is characterized by moderate variations in stroke weight, smoothly joined serifs, high contrast, and an almost vertical stress. First introduced in the late 18th century by John Baskerville.


Modern Type

A style of typeface developed in the late 18th century that continued through much of the 19th century. Characterized by high contrast between thick and thin strokes and flat serifs. Modern fonts are harder to read than previous and later typestyles.


Humanist Type

The Humanist types (sometimes referred to as Venetian) appeared during the 1460s and 1470s, and were modelled not on the dark gothic scripts like textura, but on the lighter, more open forms of the Italian humanist writers. The humanist types were at the same time as the first roman types. Its characteristics are sloping cross-bar on the lowercase “e”. It has a relatively small x-height and has low contrast between the stroke width.



A typeface is an artistic interpretation, or design, of a collection of alphanumeric symbols. May include letters, numerals, punctuation, various symbols, & more. Usually grouped together in a family containing individual fonts for italic, bold & other variations of the primary design.


Anatomy Size:

12 points equal 1 pica

6 picas equal 72 points equal 1 inch


8 Picas = 8p

8 points = p8, 8pts

8 Picas, 4 Points = 8p4



The aperture is the partially enclosed, somewhat rounded space in some characters such as ‘n’, ‘C’, ‘S’, the lower part of ‘e’, or the upper part of a double-story ‘a’.



Any part in a lowercase letter that extends above the x-height, found for example in b, d, f, h, k, etc.



An imaginary line drawn from top to bottom of a glyph bisecting the upper and lower strokes is the axis.


The imaginary line upon which the letters in a font appear to rest.



The curved part of the character that encloses the circular or curved parts of some letters such as ‘d’, ‘b’, ‘o’, ‘D’, and ‘B’ is the bowl.



The bracket is a curved or wedge-like connection between the stem and serif of some fonts.


Cap Height

The height from the baseline to the top of the uppercase letters.



The enclosed or partially enclosed circular or curved negative space of some letters such as d, o, and s is the counter.


Cross Bar

The (usually) horizontal stroke across the middle of the uppercase ‘A’ and ‘H’ is a crossbar.



Any part in a lowercase letter that extends below the baseline, found for example in g, j, p, q, y, etc.



Typically found on the lowercase ‘g’, an ear is a decorative flourish usually on the upper right side of the bowl.



Much like a counter, the eye refers specifically to the enclosed space in a lower ‘e’.



A collection of letters, numbers, punctuation, and other symbols used to set text matter.



An incarnation of a character. Every character in a typeface is represented by a glyph. One single type design may contain more than one glyph for each character. These are usually referred to as alternates.



The vertical space between lines of text.



Special characters that are actually two letters combined into one.


Sans Serif

A catagory of typefaces that do not use serifs. Populas sans serif fonts include Helvetica, Avant Garde, Ariel, and Geneva.


Slab Serif

A type of serif font that evolved from the Modern style. The serifs are square and larger, bolder than serifs of previous typestyles.



The end of any stroke that doesn’t include a serif.



The height of the lowercase letters, disregarding ascenders or descenders, typically exemplified by the letter x.

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