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Type Basics

Anatomy of Type

Body Parts
ascender

counter

cap height

cross bar

stem

descender

bowl

x-height
baseline

serif

Letters, Numbers, and Special Characters

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
lower case

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
upper case

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
small caps

0123456789

0123456789

aligning or titling numerals

oldstyle or text numerals

ligatures
two or more letter-forms joined as a single glyph;
usually replace consecutive characters sharing
common components

hyphen
short-sighted
203 668-7581

en dash
20072008
8:301:20

em dash
application of soft
poweruse of diplomacy and economic
aidover use of force.

"'

prime or hatch marks


(double and single)
The ceiling is 10'6" high.

ellipsis

curly open and close quotes (double and single)


apostrophe (same as single close quote)
Dont knock it til youve tried it.

Tracking, Kerning, and Leading

These words are tracked


Tracking or letter spacing is the horizontal space between letters

Very good kerning


Kerning is the spacing between individual pairs of letters

The term leading refers to the strips of


lead used to separate lines of metal type in
letterpress printing.
Leading or line spacing is the vertical space between lines of text