Typography Deconstructed

rosesarered's version from 2018-08-23 01:46


Question Answer
AmpersandA stylized character of the Latin et used to represent the word and
ApertureThe partially enclosed, somewhat rounded, negative space in some characters.
ApexA point at the top of a character where two strokes meet
Arc of stemA curved stroke that is continuous with a straight stem
ArmA horizontal, or upward, sloping stroke that does not connect to a stroke or stem on one or both ends.
AscenderThe part of a letter that extends above the x-height
Ascender lineThe invisible line marking the height of ascenders within a font
Ascent lineThe invisible line marking the farthest distance between the baseline and the top of the glyph
AxisAn imaginary line drawn from top to bottom of a glyph, bisecting the upper and lower strokes
Ball terminalA circular form at the end of the arm in letters
Bar/crossbarThe horizontal stroke in letters
BaselineThe invisible line where all characters sit
BeakA sharp sput, found particularly at the top of letters in some 20th century Romans
Bilateral serifsA serif extending to both sides of a main stroke
Body heightThe complete area covered by all of the characters in a font
BowlThe fully closed, rounded part of a letter.
BracketA curved or wedge-like connection between the stem and serif of some fonts. Not all serifs are bracketed serifs.
Cap heightThe height of a capital letter measured from the baseline
Cap lineA line marking the height of uppercase letters within a font.
CounterThe open space in a fully or partially closed area within a letter.
Cross strokeA horizontal stroke that intersects the stem of a lowercase ‘t’ or ‘f’
CrotchAn acute, inside angle where two strokes meet.
DescenderThe part of a letter that extends below the baseline
Descender lineThe invisible line marking the lowest point of the descenders within a font.
Descent lineThe invisible line marking the farthest distance between the baseline and the bottom of the glyph
DiacriticA ancillary mark or sign added to a letter
Diagonal strokeAn angled stroke
Dot/tittleA small distinguishing mark, such as an diacritic on a lowercase ‘i’ or ‘j’.
EarA small stroke extending from the upper-right side of the bowl of lowercase ‘g’; also appears in the angled or curved lowercase ‘r’
EyeMuch like a counter, the eye refers specifically to the enclosed space in a lowercase ‘e’
FinialA tapered or curved end
FlagThe horizontal stroke present on the numeral 5
HairlineA thin stroke usually common to serif typefaces
HookA curved, protruding stroke in a terminal. Usually found on a lowercase ‘f’
ItalicsA cursive alphabet which is matched with a roman font and used chiefly for emphasis
Mean lineAn imaginary line running along the top of non-ascending, lowercase letters
LegThe short, descending portion of a letter
LigatureTwo or more letters are joined together to form one glyph or character
LinkA stroke that connects the top and bottom bowls of a lowercase double-story ‘g’
LobeA rounded projecting stroke attached to the main structure of a letter
LoopThe enclosed or partially enclosed counter below the baseline of a double-story ‘g’
LowercaseThe smaller form of letters in a typeface
Old-Style figuresNumbers with varying heights, some aligning to the baseline and some below
Open counterThe partially open space within a character that is open on one end
OvershootAscenders extending into the space of a following character
QuaintAn antiquated sort or glyph, used to recreate the typographic flavor or a bygone age
SerifA stroke added as a stop to the beginning and end of the main strokes of a character
ShoulderThe curved stroke aiming downward from a stem
SpineThe main curved stroke of a lowercase or capital ‘S’
SpurA small projection off a main stroke
StemA vertical, full-length stroke in upright characters
StrokeA straight or curved diagonal line
SwashA flourish addition replacing a terminal or serif
TailA descending stroke, often decorative
Teardrop terminalThe tear dropped ends of strokes in letters of some typefaces
TerminalThe end of a stroke that does not include a serif
UppercaseA letter or group of letters of the size and form generally used to begin sentences and proper nouns. Also known as “capital letters”
VertexThe outside point at the top or bottom of a character where two strokes meet
X-heightThe height of lowercase letters based on the height of lowercase ‘x’; does not include ascenders or descenders

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