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Typographic terms you should know

typography anatomical map with a thinking skeleton

01 Typography

It is the art and technique of designing, selecting, and combining different types of letters, characters, and symbols to create legible and visually appealing text. In other words, it refers to the style, size, shape, and arrangement of letters used in a graphic design, print, or online document.

Typography is a key tool in graphic design and visual communication, and can significantly affect the readability, clarity, and effectiveness of a message. Designers can select typefaces and adjust their size, spacing, and other attributes to create a single, consistent aesthetic, to convey a brand or personality for a product or company, or to create a visual hierarchy that guides the reader through a document.

02 font

open sans font with reclining skeleton

In typography, a font refers to a set of characters (letters, numbers, punctuation, etc.) designed in a particular style and used to create printed or digital text. A font is a computer file that contains the information necessary to represent each of the characters of the typeface.

Each font is made up of a set of characters (eg, upper and lower case letters, numbers, punctuation) designed in a specific style that defines its shape, size, weight, spacing, and other attributes. Fonts can be classified into different categories based on their style and purpose, such as serif, sans-serif, script, display, and more.

When selecting a font, designers can choose from a wide variety of styles to create the right tone, personality, and readability for a particular project. Some fonts are used more in formal documents, while others are used for creative and experimental projects.

03 font size

metal type with the word ASMedia measured in its size

The size of a font refers to the space that each character of a typeface occupies in relation to the height of the capital letter "M" (called "em") at a given scale. In other words, the font size determines the height and width of the characters and therefore affects the readability and overall appearance of the text.

Font sizes are measured in typographic points, which are a common unit of measurement in graphic design and typography. One typographic point is equal to 1/72 of an inch, which means that a font size of 12 points will have a character height of 1/6 of an inch, or approximately 4.23 mm.

Font size can vary widely depending on the context and purpose of the design. In general, a larger font size can increase readability and visibility, while a smaller font size can be useful to save space or to create a specific visual effect. It is important to note that the font size should be appropriate for the medium it is used on, such as a computer screen or printer paper.

04 font weight

word AS repeated several times with skeleton with wig and glasses

The weight of a font refers to the thickness and relative density of the lines that make up the characters in a typeface. The weight of a font can be described using terms like "light", "regular", "bold", "extra bold" or "black", for example.

Font weight significantly affects the appearance and readability of the text. For example, a lighter font weight may appear more elegant and sophisticated, while a heavier weight may appear bolder and stand out more on a page.

In graphic design and typography, font weights can be adjusted to create a visual hierarchy in the text, highlighting important elements and directing the reader's attention to the most important parts of the design.

In addition, designers can also use a combination of font weights to create visual contrast, balance the design, and improve readability. For example, a bold title or heading can stand out in contrast to lighter, less flashy body text.

05 body text

text body with skeleton with christmas hat

Body text refers to the font size and style used in the main text of a graphic design or print or digital document. This is the font size and style used for most of the content in the document, such as paragraphs of text, articles, descriptions, and so on.

The size of the body text may vary depending on the purpose of the design or document and is selected to ensure comfortable and effective readability of the content. Body text font size is typically measured in typographic points, which are a standard unit of measurement in graphic design and typography.

The font style used in the body of text can also vary, from classic serif typefaces to modern sans-serif and decorative typefaces. The typeface selected for the body text is generally chosen to complement the design intent and improve the readability and comprehension of the content.

Selecting the proper font size and style for your body copy is important to ensure that your content is readable and engaging for readers. In addition, designers can also use spacing techniques, color, and other effects to improve the readability of body text and highlight important parts of the content.

06 headers

body of text with heading and a skeleton with wig and glasses

Headings are blocks of text that are used to identify and separate sections or chapters of a document, article, or website. Headings are used to organize content into sections and improve the readability of the text for the reader. Headers are often larger and designed in a different font style than the body text. Headers can vary in size and style depending on the structure of the document and the hierarchy of information.

Typically, different levels of headings are used to denote the importance of the section and its relationship to the other sections of the document. Top-level headings (such as H1 or level 1 headings in HTML) are often used to identify the main chapters or most important sections of the document. Lower-level headings are used to identify child sections and subsections.

Headers can also include other visual features to distinguish them from body text, such as background colors, margins, or dividing lines. Headings are often used in combination with other visual elements, such as bulleted lists, charts, and photos, to improve the organization and presentation of document content.

06 Lorem ipsum

lorem ipsum body text with skeleton wearing VR glasses with AS Media Solutions logo

Lorem ipsum is dummy text used as a placeholder or space filler in graphic designs, publications, websites, applications, and other visual design projects. It is nonsense text and has no meaning, and is used as a way to render the actual content of the layout without having to provide actual text before it is available.

The Lorem ipsum text is composed of a series of Latin words and phrases that have been selected from a classical Latin text dating from the 1st century BC, "De finibus bonorum et malorum" (On the limits of good and evil), written by the Roman philosopher Cicero. Lorem ipsum text has been used as a placeholder since the days of movable type printing, when printer designers used actual type pieces to create a design.

The use of Lorem ipsum text is still common today because it allows designers to work on the design without having to worry about the actual text content, which can be useful in the early stages of design. Also, since the text has no meaning, it doesn't distract the reader's attention from the design itself.

There are many Lorem ipsum text generators available online that can automatically generate filler text in any quantity and format desired, making the process of incorporating filler text into a design easy.

06 text block

text block with skeleton wearing christmas hat

A text block is a set of written text that is presented in an independent section and separated from the rest of the content in a document or graphic design. A text block is typically a paragraph or set of paragraphs that is presented with a clear and coherent structure and can include headings, subheadings, bulleted lists, and other visual features to improve readability and organization of content.

Text blocks are often used in documents and graphic designs to present information in a clear and easily understandable way. Text blocks can vary in size and style depending on the purpose of the document and the intended audience.

The size and style of a block of text is typically selected to ensure that the text is easily readable and understood by the reader. The choice of font size and style can depend on factors such as the length of the text, the space available for design, and the importance of the text in relation to other elements in the document or design.

It is important to use appropriate and well-structured text blocks to ensure that the content of the document is easily readable and understandable to readers. Designers and writers can use design and writing techniques, such as the use of lists, headings, and subheadings, to improve the structure and readability of the text block and help the reader understand the content more effectively.

Now that you have the basic knowledge of typefaces you can use them from now on in all your designs.

“The intelligent use of typography defines the rational effectiveness of the exposed text.”


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