Beginner’s Guide: Typography

You may have noticed that a lot of my designs are based around typography. But what is typography? It’s the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed. (Source: Wikipedia).

In this post, I’m going to break down and provide examples of some terminology commonly used in typography. Use this as a guide when communicating with me about any typographical changes to your logo.

Styles/Categories

  1. Font/Typeface – Font refers to the physical embodiment (whether it’s a case of metal pieces or a computer file) while typeface refers to the design (the way it looks). A font is what you use, and a typeface is what you see.[1]

  2. Character – An individual piece of the full character set of a type face (letters, numbers, punctuation)

  3. Glyph – A character that looks similar to a standard character in a set but has a little something extra to it (like a decorative swash).

  4. Serif / Sans serif
    1. Serif – A typeface that has an extra line or stroke attached to it. Serif means “line”
    2. Sans Serif – Means “without line”

Spacing/Positioning

  1. Letter-spacing / Tracking – Spacing added to or removed from groups of letters outside the original spacing and kerning specified within a font file.

  2. Kerning – The horizontal spacing between two consecutive characters

  3. Line-spacing / Leading – The vertical spacing between lines

  4. Text alignment – The alignment of a set of characters relative to a column, shape, cell, page, or tab. Most common are left, right, centered, and justified.

Anatomy

  1. Ligature – Two or more characters that form one character.

  2. Swash – A decorative tail or stroke on a character.

I hope you learned something new and had a little bit of fun reading this post! I had WAY too much fun making the graphics.

Was there anything you didn’t know about and found interesting? Wanna see more educational posts like this in the future? Let me know down in the comments!

[1] Source: Fontshop

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