One of a group of characters having the same width (occupying the same lateral space). Tabular characters are typically used to set material in which columns of characters must align vertically with one another, as in price lists, spreadsheets, and other financial typesetting. See also tabular width.
Composition that involves setting copy in columns in which characters are vertically aligned.
The width of a tabular character, including its side spaces; usually the punctuation space (punctuation width), figure space, or em space in contemporary typography. In the composition of metal type, usually the thin space, en space, or em space. See also tabular character.
A short stroke extending downward in a letterform, as in K and R; also, the stroke extending from the uppercase Q.
In a typographic character, a stroke ending that tapers into a teardrop shape.
An end of a main stroke in a character. Some authors, however, define this term more specifically as the end of a character stroke that does not have a serif, such as the bottom stroke of a lowercase t, or the end of a stroke in a sans serif typeface. See also ball terminal, teardrop terminal.
Typeset matter intended for continuous reading.
A typeface created for use in extended paragraphs of copy at smaller point sizes, typically 10 to 12 (or sometimes 14 points, depending on the manufacturer). May also be used at reference sizes, typically as small as 6 to 9 points.
A fixed space equal to one-third the width of the em. Some manufacturers refer to it as the 3-to-em (3-em) space.
A fixed space, traditionally one-fifth of the em space in width, but also sometimes one-fourth em, depending on the type manufacturer or, in contemporary use, the software. Alternatively, the thin space is defined as the aesthetically determined width of the period (also sometimes known as the punctuation space or punctuation width). Some type manufacturers refer to this space as the 5-to-em space (5-em space) or 4-to-em space (4-em space). In composition with metal type, some manufacturers also used thin space to refer to spaces smaller than 5-to-em.
The thinnest part of a character, usually connecting thicker parts such as stems and curves. When extremely thin, as in the typeface Bodoni, it is also called a hairline. See also hairline.
A ligature in which two or more letters are joined by an added connecting stroke, also known as a quaint character. Some authors use tied letter to refer to any ligature. See also ligature.
A display version of a typeface, containing capitals, numerals, punctuation marks, and a few related characters. Traditionally, the capitals and numerals in such a font may be designed to occupy the full height of the body, and/or other optical and aesthetic modifications may be made to character designs to make them appropriate for setting at larger sizes. In some recent titling faces the characters are closer in size to those of the original fonts.
See letter spacing.
A type style that evolved during the eighteenth century, in which characters are based on letterforms now classified as old style yet also contain features suggesting the modern typeface style that followed. Such typefaces usually have a more distinct difference in weight between thick and thin strokes than old-style typefaces, a vertical or near vertical curve stress, and flat (uncupped) bracketed serifs (examples: ITC and Monotype Baskerville, Monotype Perpetua, Century Schoolbook). Many serif contemporary typefaces that incorporate features of different styles fall into this classification.
trial, trial letters, trial words, trial proof
In contemporary usage, sometimes describes characters designed aesthetically and usually created individually (for example, small capitals), as opposed to those that are photographically reduced (scaled) or computer-generated using a mathematical formula. See also true-cut italic.
An italic typeface design based on informal humanistic scripts. It differs from a sloped or obliqued typeface in that many forms are distinctly oval or parabolic in form, similar to some styles of handwriting. See also italic.
Describes a letter that appears to have two basic levels or parts, such as the two-story lowercase a or g, as distinguished from the one-story a and g.
In composition with metal type, an individual piece of metal with a character projecting in relief on one end, used in letterpress printing, also sometimes known as a sort. Also a collection of such pieces of metal. In contemporary usage, a collective term for typefaces. See also sort.
Traditionally, a complete collection of characters (letters, numerals, punctuation marks, etc.) that have a distinct design and repeating characteristics in common and that form a visually harmonious design. May be part of a typeface family. In contemporary usage, also refers to some display collections of characters that have more varied and not necessarily harmonious designs. See also font.
typeface classification system
A means of grouping typefaces into categories with reference to form, origin, or application. A number of different typeface classification systems are used in the type industry, for example, the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) system, the British Standards (BSI) system, the Deutsche Industrie Normen (DIN) system. Highly specific systems are also used in computer font substitution programs, which provide a replacement font when the typeface selected for a particular document is not available, for example, the PANOSE System and the ISO/IEC [International Organization for Standardization/-International Electrotechnical Commission] 9541-1 Information Technology-Font Information Interchange Standard.
Traditionally, a group of closely related typefaces that share many design characteristics, yet differ in aspects such as stroke weight, width of character designs, slope, and size. Typeface families may include from two to thirty or more design variations; they also include all the various sizes in which some typefaces are created. In a metafamily or extended family such as Rotis or ITC Stone, typefaces differ slightly in interpretation or details (for example, related seriffed and sans serif forms) but usually share a common structure and proportions. In digital typesetting, a few display typeface families include typefaces that are only loosely related in design.
Describes characters designed to match the individual design features of a typeface, so that they display a unity and consistency. Some characters, such as bullets and boxes, are often not typeface sensitive and may be chosen from a pi font rather than be specifically designed to match a particular face. See also pi font.
A characteristic of a typeface determined by the thickness of the strokes that make up its characters. Typeface designers and manufacturers have traditionally used terms for typeface weight mainly to differentiate the fonts within a typeface family, although some individual typefaces (especially display designs) include some of these terms in their names. The terms that denote weight are not standardized and there is no precise formula to determine the weight classification of a typeface. Individual type designers and manufacturers generally determine the weight designation for each typeface. Weight classifications include:
- Ultra Bold
- Extra Light
- Semi Bold
- Semi Bold
- Ultra Black
- Extra Bold
See also weight.
A characteristic of a typeface determined by the width of its characters in proportion to their height. Typeface designers and manufacturers have traditionally used terms for typeface width mainly to differentiate the fonts within a typeface family, although some individual typefaces (especially display designs) include some of these terms in their names. Typeface width is generally categorized as condensed, normal, and expanded, with varying levels of condensation and expansion. The terms that denote width are not standardized and there is no precise formula for determining the width classification of a typeface. Type designers and manufacturers generally determine the width classification for each typeface. Classifications include:
- Semi Condensed
- Semi Expanded
- Extra Condensed
- Extra Expanded
- Ultra Condensed
- Ultra Expanded
The size at which a particular typeface is reproduced; also the size of a particular font, if the typeface design is created in more than one size. Usually measured in increments called points, also sometimes in millimeters. Traditionally, the size of a typeface is slightly greater than the measurement of the distance from the top of the highest ascender or capital to the bottom of the lowest descender (the kp height); this variance makes type size difficult to measure precisely in the printed piece. Different typefaces of the same size often appear to have different sizes because of variations in proportions among their letters, especially lowercase x-height letters, ascenders, and descenders. In type design, type size is equivalent to the height of the body. See also body, master size.
A variety of typeface design, for example, roman or italic, serif or sans serif, old style, modern, or decorative/display. Broad categories of type styles are described in type classification systems. Many desktop-publishing applications use this term more broadly, however, to refer to other characteristics such as typeface weight, character selection (including all-cap settings and superiors and inferiors), and modifications of a selected typeface such as underlining or outlining.
One of the many nonalphanumeric characters that can be used for a variety of purposes, for example, a rule, box, bullet, dingbat, flourish, flower, border, ornament, arrow, or nonprinting space. See also dingbats, flower, ornament.
The art and technique of designing type and typeset materials to suit various purposes. Also, the style and arrangement of typeset materials.