The basic terminology you should know in typography

With the previous post discussing about the importance of typography, we thought it’d be great to illustrate some of the basic terminology you should know in typography.

Apex: Point at the top of a letter, commonly found in capital A, where two strokes meet.

Arm: Like an actual arm, it refers to a stroke that is open on one end and doesn’t connect to a stem.

Ascender: The vertical stroke on lowercase letters that extends above the main body of the letter (the x-height).

Ascender line: Invisible line that marks the lowest part of the ascenders

Baseline: Baseline is an imaginary horizontal line where the feet of letters sit.

Bowl: Fully closed rounded part of a letter.

Cap height: The height of capital letters measured from the baseline.

Counter: A half or fully closed white area that is enclosed by curves or stems.

Crossbar/Bar: A horizontal bar that connects two strokes.

Descender: The counterpart of ascender. It’s a part of lowercase letter that extends below the baseline.

Descender line: Invisible line that marks the lowest part of the descenders

Spur:The short and sharp curved end perched on the end of lowercase. Usually seen in lowercase ‘e’ and ‘c’.

Spine: The main curve in both capital and lowercase ‘s’.

Stem: A long vertical line in a letter

Terminal – The end stroke of any letter that doesn’t have any serif

X-height – The height of a lowercase ‘x’ on every typeface.

The world of typography consists of more than dozens of key words–and they might be very technical (and sometimes daunting) that it takes extra effort to memorize them all at the beginning. But once you get the hang of, it will always come in handy for everyday use. We will definitely cover more in the upcoming post!


Tags: No tags

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *