Of or pertaining to calligraphy, which literally means "beautiful writing." In type design, characters said to be calligraphic resemble those formed by the natural movement of the hand using a pen, brush, or other writing tool.
See H height.
A horizontal guideline indicating where the tops of capital letters appear to align. Often referred to in an imaginary sense.
See lining numerals.
The large letters of the Latin alphabet (A, B, C, D and the like) which are based on classical Roman stone-carved lettering. Also called uppercase letters, majuscules. See also Latin alphabet.
Shortened term for capitals.
In hand composition with metal type, fractions that are ready-made by the manufacturer as complete characters (with each character referred to as a single sort,) as opposed to built-up fractions that the compositor constructs using individual characters such as superior and inferior numerals and the fraction bar. Also different from piece fractions, which in metal type are often constructed from two pieces, the fraction bar being paired with either the numerator or denominator. In digital and phototypesetting, case fraction has varying (and somewhat confusing) meanings. For example, some manufacturers use it to refer only to horizontal fractions () made up as complete characters; others use it to refer to both horizontal and diagonal fractions (¾). See also built-up fraction, diagonal fraction, horizontal fraction, piece fraction.
In reference to the photo- and digital type of some manufacturers, an imaginary line that vertically bisects a character's width, including the spaces that type designers assign to either side of a character as part of its design. Type designers often use this line as a design aid when combining floating accents with letters. In metal type, this term sometimes referred to a horizontal line extending through the center of the matrix, measured from top to bottom. Other measurements were taken from this line.
A style of handwriting used by scribes of the Renaissance papal courts. Usually written at a slight slope from the vertical (but sometimes upright), it is characterized by lowercase letters that have narrow and somewhat angular forms. Typefaces based on the chancery style include Bembo Italic, Centaur Italic, Poetica, and Zapf Chancery.
In typography and typesetting, a symbol or typographic element, including letters, ligatures, punctuation marks, numerals, and other symbols. Also known as a sort, a term from the era of metal type. In information processing, defined more broadly as an abstract symbol or instruction represented by a numeric code, including letters, numerals, and other symbols as well as nonprinting elements or functions such as tab, back space, and carriage return. See also glyph, sort.
A collection of characters grouped together for a specific purpose or application, such as for setting a language or group of languages, or as defined by the limitations of a particular software program, computer system, or printing device. Its constituents are usually independent of any appearance in a particular typeface. In digital typesetting, also known as symbol set. See also character, font.
See visual width, width, width value.
In the traditional European point system (the Didot system) used in measuring type in continental Europe, a unit equal to 12 Didot points (also called corps), 4.520184 millimeters, or roughly 1/6 inch. Its Anglo-American equivalent is the pica. Like the pica, the cicero is used to express the length of a line of text or the depth of a page, as in a line of 22 ciceros or a page that is 40 ciceros deep.
In type design, the smallest recommended distance between two characters or between parts of a single character, intended to prevent the appearance of touching or overlapping when the typeface is set at small sizes.
There is no standard measurement for this distance; in contemporary digital typesetting, minimum clearance differs with various technologies for presenting type and with various resolutions. Although type designers and manufacturers sometimes develop their own rules of thumb for minimum clearance, it is essential for the type designer to check each typeface in actual use under the kinds of conditions in which it will eventually be presented, including both low and high resolution output.
Type designers generally measure minimum clearance at the size at which a typeface is drawn or designed. In computer-aided design, they measure it at a specific size, such as 500 points.
The overall value of lightness or darkness that is created by words, lines, paragraphs, or pages of type when viewed against their background. The combination of typographic factors that contribute to the color of a text include the typeface design, weight, size, x-height in relation to capital height, line length, leading, word spacing, and character spacing. Some authors use this term to refer to the overall appearance of a typeface.
See nonspacing accent.
In digital typesetting, often refers to a typeset character that is actually a combination of two or more stored characters - a letter and a floating accent, for example - preconfigured by the type designer and combined by the typesetting device using coded information. Individual characters from which the new character is made are known by such terms as reference characters and component glyphs. The manner in which a compositor accesses such a composite character (for example, whether it is necessary to press one or more keys) may vary with different software applications or even within the same software application. With some software the compositor may need to strike only one key, with other software, more than one key.
In some international standards, composite character is more broadly defined to include all characters pieced together from two or more elements by overstriking or other special positioning. This broad definition includes all characters that are pieced together by the compositor using separate characters or keystrokes. See also component glyph, glyph.
A term used in some software and international standards for an individual character that is combined in typesetting with one or more other characters to make up a complete character. For example, the numerals and fraction bar may be used as component glyphs in typesetting a fraction. Also sometimes known as a reference character. See also composite character.
A person who sets type. In composition with metal type, referred more narrowly to a craftsman who assembled type into the desired form; in computer-aided typesetting sometimes has a similar meaning. Related terms are keyboarder and keyboard operator, which may imply a lower level of responsibility (a keyboarder may be responsible mainly for entering text correctly, whereas a compositor may also have responsibilities that include aesthetics and typographic arrangement). The term typesetter is also used, although this may be confused with a typesetting device. Sometimes shortened to comp.
Describes typefaces that appear narrower than other variants within the same type family. The opposite of expanded. Some condensed typefaces are referred to as compressed. See also typeface width.
The degree of difference between the widths of thick and thin strokes in a typeface. Typefaces have varying degrees of contrast or sometimes no contrast or very little contrast, as in a monoweight sans serif typeface.
The fully or partially enclosed interior space of a character. The enclosure may be made by curved strokes and/or stems. Some characters, such as A and M, have more than one counter.
Colloquial; used to describe two characters that should not touch or overlap when typeset but do. For example, the lowercase v and t have a tendency to crash when space between them is removed through tracking or kerning.
A horizontal (or sometimes diagonal) stroke that intersects with or connects one or more stems or rounds, as in A, H, T, e, f, and t. Some authors, however, use this term only for enclosed horizontal strokes that do not cut through a stem or round, as in A, H, and e, whereas they use cross stroke for strokes that do cut through a stem, as in the letters f and t.
In a letter or other character, a concave curvature or dip located across the terminals of main strokes. It can occur in both serif and sans serif designs. A serif that has this feature is known as a cupped serif.
Typefaces that resemble informal handwriting. Letters in cursive typefaces may or may not have joining strokes; sometimes these typefaces incorporate a combination of both joining and nonjoining letters. Often they are designed to have a slight angle from the vertical, although they are differentiated in form from typefaces that are simply sloped or obliqued romans.
Subcategories include typefaces derived from broad-pen writing (examples: Monotype Corsiva, Marigold), from more formal joining scripts (example: Flemish Script), and from letters formed with a brush (example: Brush). Some italic typefaces, although not classified with cursive or script/cursive typefaces, are closely based on cursive letterforms (examples: Bembo Italic and Palatino Italic). Some authors reserve the term cursive for typefaces that resemble handwriting but are not joined; they use script for joined or connecting letterforms. See also chancery script, italic, oblique.