Typography Lexicon

The typostrate online typography lexicon, encyclopedia and reference book tot the western typography with more than 100 useful entries.

typo lexicon

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Alignment
The justification of elements or letters.

Ampersand
A sign for the word and to shorten the text or a logo.

Arm
A horizontal stroke that’s free on one or both ends.

Ascender
The part of lowercase letter that extends above the median line (where the minsuclues end).

Axis
Imagine a line from top to bottom of a glyph bisecting the upper an lower strokes.

 

B

Baseline
The line on which letterforms, words or sentences sit.

Beardline
Invisible line that indicates the bottom of the letter descenders.

Black
A font face could be regular, bold and the largest form is black.

Blackletter
Based on the medieval script and mode if writing, it’s the heavy, angular letter.

Baseline
The height of capital letters or majuscules measured from baseline to top of the uppercase letter.

Bastard title
Is the second page repeating the cover or empty in a book. This descends from the first books ever made,
because it was the protection during the way from the writer to the bookmaker for binding the book.
Often this page got dirty therefor it’s called Bastard.

Body Copy
A textual matter set in one typeface and size with a common leading column width.

Bold
A typeface which is heavier and wider than the roman or regular version is bold.

Bowl
The fully closed rounded part of a glyph as in the b, B, d, D, p, P.

Bracket
Bracketed serifs are serifs ith a curved or wedge-like connection between the stem and the serif.

Bullet
Or bulletpoints are dot indicating items in a list.

C

Calligraphy
Is the design of lettering with a broad tip instrument or brush in one stroke.

Camelback
Is a letter that has a lowercase letter before and after it in a word like McDonalds.

Cap height
The height of a capital letter measured from the baseline.

Centered
Alignment in which each element is positioned on the central axis.

Character
in the traditional terminology of typography the for dis synonymous with the word letter.
The uppercase A is a character but the uppercase from a special font is a Glyph.

Color
The color of a letter can also be changed by the lightness.

Colophon
Information at the end of a book or on a website which includes the description of the production.

Condensed
Narrow version of a typeface that fits more characters into a given space.

Contrast
The comparison between thick and thin lines, shapes or between a serif and non serif font.

Copyfitting
Adjustment of type to fit in a certain area.

Counter
Is the space between the round elements of a letter like a,b,e,d,g,o,p,q.

Cross Bar
Connection between two strokes. You can see this between the A & H.

D

Descender
The part of a lowercase letter that extends below the baseline like the letters j,g,p,q,y.

Dingbat
Illustrative letters, mostly icons used like a font.

Display Type
Letterforms whose purpose is to be fast recognized by the eye.

Drop Cap
A large initial at the beginning of a passage, mostly used in old handwritten books or modern fashion issues.

Dumb Quotes
Quotation marks that are straight.

Dummy
An unprinted mockup of a print media like a book or brochure.

E

Ear
Tha small stroke coming softly out of a lowercase o or a g.

Egyptian
A style that evolved in the 19th century with serifs that are not rounded but straight.
Some examples are Rockwell or Courier.

Ellipsis
Three points at the end of a sentence or quote indicating an omission.

EM
A value equal to the current point or pixel size of a font.

Em Dash
A solid dash used to indicate a break in a thought.

En Dash
Relative measurement equal to the half on an em often used for ranges like
2011-2013

Embossing
A technique for creating reliefs and raised forms on paper.

En Dash
The second longest dash mostly used to separate numbers like 123–456.

 

F

Facing Pages
Pages that lie across of each other, in a multiple page document.

Flat height
The top of the flat characters in group height such as in the H.

Flush left
Type aligned on the left of a site or sheet of paper.

Flush right
Type aligned on the right of a site or a sheet of paper.

Folio
The page number.

Font
Traditionally a specific typeface style at a a specific point size. Today a member of a type family
such as the Times New Roman.

Fraktur
A traditional blacklister type style used in the traditional german script.

G

Glyph
An image or form in a font file or a letter of a special typeface.

Greeking
Using a placeholder text like Lorem Ipsum when designing a layout.

Grid
Guidelines combined vertically and horizontally to a particaly structure where
you can organize your layout. Perfect for book and web layouts to fit the text and images
similar on very page or site.

Gutter
The blank space between facing pages.

H

Hairline
A thin stroke common to serif typefaces.

Handwritten
Is the design with of lettering with a pen or ink feather.

Hanging Punctuation
A layout style in which the lines of the paragraph are aligned
to the left margin and all lines have an equal amount a so called
ragged margin.

Headline
Primary type or title of a story or passage.

Hinting
A general digital font term used to describe the control of low resulted outputs on screens for example.

Humanist Oldstyle
A style derived from the 15th century especially from the Italian Renaissance including roman typefaces
that are copied from earlier Carolingian Script as well as italic typefaces based on cursive forms.

I

Interpolate
Generate intermediate weights between two basic values, after which the automatically produced fonts
are fine-tuned by hand.

Italic
After roman or regular and bold the third form of a font. Italic or oblique describe an angular fontface.

J

Justification
Text aligned perfectly flush on both margins like a block text.

K

Kerning
Reduce or maximize the white space between the letters of a word.

L

Latin
Languages based on the latin alphabet for example english, french and german.

Leading
Adjusting the vertical space between lines of type.

Legibility
The ability to distinguish between letterforms.

Letterpress
Is a printing technique where movable types where put into a bed of press, than inked and than
pressed with the help of a machine against paper to transfer the ink and have a print.

Letterspacing
Space between the letters in a word.

Ligature
In some typefaces combined, fluid small caps for saving space. Mostly used at
fk, fj, fh, fb, li, st ,ch ck, ct, th, tt, tz, kk, Qu, fi, ff, ft.

Light
A font type lighter than the regular or normal version.

Lorem Ipsum
A common used text as placeholder in mockups.

M

Majuscule
Other word for Capital like A.

Margin
The limiting borders and edges of a paper or site.

Master Page
A page where you set the basics of your layout. All other pages are based on that layout.

Minuscule
Small letters or lowercases like a.

Modern
A type style that evolved during the 18th century and was influenced by cooperplate engraving.
The characteristic of this typeface is the contrast between thick and thin strokes, vertical curve stress,
narrow and straight counters and frequently, unbracket serifs.

Monospaced
Typefaces in which each character occupies the same horizontal space.

N

O

Oblique Type
Is a form of type that slants slightly to the right, used in the same manner as italic type.

Open Type
An extension to TrueType and PostScript font formats defined by Adobe and Microsoft.
Usable on the most computers like Mac or PC.

Optical Alignment
Adjusting elements so they appear aligned. Often used when you put a word in the middle of a paper and
have to fix it a little bit over the middle to get the perfect optical alignment.

Orphan
A paragraph line that appears open at the bottom of a page or column.
Orphans often result in too much whitespace and are seen as a typography fault.

Outline
A border that surrounds the outside and whitespace of letters or words.

Overshoot
The overshoot of a round or pointed letter (like O or A) is the degree to which it extends higher or
lower than a comparably sized “flat” letter (like X or H), to achieve an optical effect of being the same size.

P

Pagination
Are the continuous numbers on the sites of a book. In the web these are the
page numbers to select for example in an online shop.

Paragraph Rules
Rules or strokes above and/or below a paragraph.

Pica
Another unit measurement that is equal to 12 points.

Point Size
A measuring unit in typography for like pixels or em.

Post Script
The digital page description language and font format developed by Adobe Systems.

Printer Spreads
The correct layout order for the printer to cut the folded perfect and fast for the finished book.

Pull Quote
A quotation of an article that is typically placed in a larger or distinctive typeface serving
a highlight topic or text quote in to entice the readers eyes for an article.

Q

R

Ragged Margin
A paragraph uneven in its line widths to one site.

Raised Cap
A style where the first capital letter of a paragraph aligned with the baseline
is larger than the others to introduce the text.

Readability
The quality and experience in reading a text fluidly without optical disruptions.

Recto
The right-hand page of a spread, odd numbered.

Roman
The regular style of typeface.

Run Around
Text that is set to run around an image or element.

Running Header/Footer
The header/footer is appearing in the same style on every page.

S

Sans Serif
Fonts without Serifs and foots or ears.

Serif Font
A font like Times New Roman which has foots on the end of every line.

Shoulder
In metal type the nonprinting surface of type or slug.

Sidebearings
The horizontal spaces either side of an individual character or glyph.

Slab Serif
A type style that evolved during the 19th century also known as Egyptian
mostly designed for display fonts.

Small Cabs
Specially designedcapitals that have the same x-height as the lower cases.

Smart Quotes
Quotation marks for the localization of a spoken sentence of a person within a text.
Always beginning with 66 and ending with 99.

Spine
The main curved stroke of a lowercase like in the S.

Stem
The vertical, full length stroke of a glyph like the l.

Stress
The general direction of a letter, whether vertical for romans or diagonal for italics.

Subhead
Is the second headline underneath the main headline.

T

Tables
Sperated sections, tabs  or a grid where you can order your numbers, letters, words and sentences.

Terminal
The end of stroke that does not include a serif like the t.

Tracking
Adjusting space in a line or paragraph.

Transitional
A style evolved during the 18th century in which characters are now based on letterforms classified
as old style fonts. Examples are ITS and Monotype Baskerville.

TrueType
A digital font file initially developed by Apple.

Type Family
Also called font family is the collection of similar fonts designed to be used together.

Typeface
An artistic interpretation of a collection of alphanumeric symbols grouped in a family.

Typography
The art and technique of designing type or typeset materials to suit various pruposes.

U

U&lc
Upper and lowercase and a magazine publicated by Herb Lubalin.

Uppercase
A letter or a word set in capitals.

Unicode
A numeric character encoding system defined by the Unicode Consortium and used on computer systems.

Units
TrueType fonts use units as a measurement system.

V

Variable Spaced
A typeface in which each character has its own width as determined by the inherent character space and width.

Verso
The left hand of a page spread always even numbered.

W

Webfonts
Are fonts that function with the help of Javascript on every browser. There are also fonts that function on every computer,
because they are part of the standard system fonts. Examples are Arial, Arial Black, Comic Sans, Courier New, Georgia,
Impact, Lucida Console, Lucida Sans Console, Palatino Linotype, Tahoma, Geneva, Webdings, Wingdings, Zapf Dingbats,
Ms Sans Serif to name some.

Weight
The relative thickness or blackness of glyphs.

Widow
A single word or part of a word ending a paragraph.

White Space
The horizontal white space between words.

Word Spacing
Adjusting the average distance between words to improve the legibility.

X

X height
The flat height of lowercase glyphs like a, c, e, m, n, o, r, s, u, v, w, x, z.

Y

Z

Typostrate – Typography Lexicon

This typography lexicon should help you to find and expand your knowledge about typography.
Here you can find lots of interesting and helpful expressions and explanations
for your daily graphic design and layout business.
Thanks to Wikipedia, Minnie Millers, Brittany Holleran, Christian Baumgart,
Microsofts character design standards and Carol Lantis Type Lexicon.

Das Typolexikon, Enzyklopädie und Nachschlagewerk für Schriftgestalter, Designer und Typografen
mit mehr als 100 Fachbegriffen zum Thema westlicher Typographie.