Typography Terms You Should Now

By Nathatype Studio on March 25, 2022

Typography Terms You Should Now — Humans consciously created the first written text forms and letters about 5,000 years ago. Since then, letters have become important means of communication which has developed for years along with the development of science and technology leading to its way of digital communication.


One of significant elements in graphic design is typography. According to the Wikipedia, typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable and appealing when displayed. To common people, they find it unusual about typography terms. If you are interested in designing especially typography, you need to learn various terms used in it.

Terms of typography are explained in the following description. Check this out!



In the traditional typography especially in metal print, a font is a group of characterized metal which represents complete characters from a certain design (all characters, numbers, signs, symbols, etc.). Today’s fonts refer to a group of complete characters from a certain type of design or letter in a digital form.

A typography is one of graphic design terms which does not stand alone and is related to other fields of science. In simpler words, a typography is a specific letter design, such as Times New Roman.

A non-standard variation (sometimes decorative) comes from the existing characters as additional options in the font file.

An individual symbol from a group of complete characters forming typography can be in the forms of letters, numbers, punctuation, etc.



Serif is a short line or a lengthwise sticky scratch at the edge of an open area of a letter.

Sans Serif / Sans
It literally means ‘without line’. You can also see some sample here.

It is an imaginary border line between letters and other characters.

Cap Line

It is an imaginary line that marks the top border of capital letters and some lowercases (ascender).

It is a tilt version of a letter type.

The height of a lowercase is usually based on the lowercase ‘x’, excluding ascenders and descenders.

It means a horizontal distance of two characters in a row adjusting the kerning to create an equal display.

Tracking / Letter Spacing
It means the equal amount of distances between characters in a complete text.



Leading / Line Spacing
It means a vertical distance from the text row (from the back line to the back line).

It is a straight line or curve.

It is a straight vertical line or a straight diagonal line.

Arc of Stem
It is a curve stroke which continues to Stem.

It means a part of a character (g, j, p, q, y, J) which declines on the base line.

It means part of lowercase characters (b, d, f, h, k, l, t) which lengthwises on top of the lowercase x.

It is part of the stem which is equal the base line.

It is a point where the stroke meets the stem.

It is a connecting point at the top position of a letter form where two strokes meet. It can be round, sharp, flat, etc.

It is a point below a character where two strokes meet.

It means the inner angle where two strokes meet.

It is horizontal or diagonal at the top position which is tighten on one end but loose on the other end.

It is a short stroke and declining on a letter form.

It is a curve on letters h, m, or n.

Bar / Crossbar
It is a horizontal line in characters such as A, H, R, e or f.

Cross Stroke
It is a line that cuts past the stalk of a letter.

A curved stroke creates a closed area in character (later called the counter).

It means some part or the whole part is covered in a character and bordered by curva, stroke or stem.

It is an open area or partly covered in negative space created by open counter.

It is a type of a letter that has two counters.

It is the end of a stroke which is not ended with a serif.

Two or more connected letters form a certain character, especially decorative.

It is a decorative ornament replacing terminal or serif.


Those are the terms frequently used in a typography. Mark this article to learn more about typography terms. Good luck!

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