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The basics of type ABC

“Typography has one plain duty before it and that is to convey information in writing.� - Emil Ruder

Serif In typography, serifs are the small lines tailing from the edges of letters and symbols.


Sans-serif In typography, sansserif is a typeface that does not have the small projecting features called “serifs� at the end of strokes.

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

ascender height Some elements may extend slightly above the cap height

x height Is the height of the main body of the lower case letter, excluding its ascenders and descenders.


descender height The length of a letter’s descender’s contributes to its overall style and attitude.


cap height The distance from the baseline to the top of the capital letter determines the letter’s point size

the baseline Is where the letters sit. This is the most stable axis along a line of text and it is a crucial line for aligning text with with image or with other text.


H ad stem






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Size In typography, a point is the smallest unit of measure, being a subdivision of the larger pica. It is commonly abbreviated as pt. The point has long been the usual unit for measuring font size and leading and other minute items on a printed page.

8 pt

10 pt

12 pt

14 pt

18 pt

24 pt 30 pt 36 pt

One point equals 1/72 inch or .35 millimeters. Twelve points equal one pica, the unit commonly used to measure column widths. Typography can also be measured in inches, millimeters, or pixels.

“For me, typography is a triangular relationship between design idea, typographic elements, and printing techniques.� - Wolfgang Weingart

Font Families

Big Calson Medium 12 pt

Times New Roman Italic 14 pt

Baskerville Semi Bold 18 pt Gill Sans Light 14 pt

Georgia Bold Italic 12 pt

In the sixteeenth century, printers began organizing roman and italic typefaces into matched families. The concept was formalized in the early twentieth century to include styles such as bold, semibold, and small caps.

“There are now about as many different varieties of letters as there are different kinds of fools.�

- Eric Gill

The basics of Type