Glossary




Letterforms
TYPE DESIGN

Design notes
Basics
Decisions
Modules
Bold
Scans
Spacing
Elbow grease

Glossary





Anti-aliasing
The enlarged detail shows how grayscaling smooths the edges of a bitmap.





Arm
A horizontal, free at one end.





Ascender
Part of a lower case letters that rises above the x-height.

Ascii
American Standard Code of Information Interchange: a list of 128 numbered characters and print commands. Another 128 are known as “upper-ascii” or “extended-ascii.” Their arrangement is not a part of the standard, and differs from one operating system to the next.






Bar
A horizontal in such letters as A e t.




Baseline
An imaginary line that most characters seem to rest on.

Bézier curve
Polynomial curve; an established standard in computer-aided geometric design.





Bitmap
Letter image made of dots, especially in low-resolution, where the dots can be seen.





Bowl
A curve that encloses a space in a character.






Cap height
The height of capital letters.





Cap line
An imaginary line at the top of capitals.

Character set
A group of characters, numerals, symbols, and punctuation, usually in the same style.





Counter
The white space inside a letter.






Descender
Part of a character that goes below the baseline.




Ear
Small stroke that sticks out of the to of the top of the letter g.


Hairline
Thinnest part of a character, usually on a curve.




Kern
Part that goes outside the body of the character.




Kerning
Exceptions to character widths. In the example on the left, the gap between the letters Y and e is too wide. In the example on the right, the letter e has been shifted to the left.




Midline
An imaginary line at the top of lower case letters without ascenders.


Pixel
One dot on a computer screen, often equivalent to one point.


Point
Typographic measure, about 1 / 72 of an inch.





Serif
A stroke at the beginning or the end of some letterforms.

Shading
Thickening of a curve.




Sidebearings
The distance between either side of a character to the boundaries of the character width.




Spine
The main curve of the letter s.




Stem
Main stroke, usually straight and upright.

Stress
Thickening of a curve.




x-height
1__The distance from the baseline to the top of lower case letters without ascenders.
2__The proportion between the height of ascenders and lower case letters without ascenders.