Welcome to Type Terms! The animated typographic cheat sheet. If you are new to typography or here to refresh your memory, then Type Terms is the perfect tool for you. Click the big blue button below and let's begin.
Type Terms is the perfect tool for designers to learn the basics of typographic terminology. If you are new to typography or here to refresh your memory, then Type Terms is perfect for you.
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A Stroke attached to or extending from the open ends of a letterform is known as the Serif. Serif also refers to the general category of typefaces that have been designed with this feature. Typefaces without a serif are known as Sans-Serif typefaces. “Serif” comes from the Dutch word "schreef" meaning "line".
Counters are found in letters that have enclosed or partially enclosed areas of white space. Letters such as ‘a’, ‘b’, ‘d’, ‘e’, ‘g’, ‘o’, ‘p’ and ‘q’. The letter ‘e’ has its own special name for its counter; the Eye.
The curved part of the character that encloses a Counter of letters such as ‘d’, ‘b’, ‘o’, ‘g’, and a is known as the Bowl of the letterform. The curved strokes of a ‘c’ are sometimes also referred to as bowls although they aren’t closed.
Descenders are the opposite of Ascenders. Ascenders go above the X-Height while Descenders go below the Baseline. Lowercase letters such as ‘g’, ‘j’, ‘p’, ‘q’ and ‘y’ all have descenders. Normally uppercase letters don't go below the Baseline, however you may find some typefaces that do.
A Stroke is similar to a Stem, the only different is that a stroke is known as the main diagonal part of a letterform such as in ‘N’, ‘M’ and ‘Y’. Some letterforms with two diagonals, such as ‘A’ or ‘V’, have both a stem and a stroke. The near-vertical Stroke is known as the stem in this instance and the other diagonal line is known as the main Stroke. Other letter parts such as Bars, Arms, and Bowls are collectively referred to as the Strokes that make up a letterform.