Design Vocabulary – Typography Terms – Week 1

Hey everyone, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the terms designers kick around. This is the first of what I plan to be weekly posts to teach you all some “design speak” in small bite size pieces. Enjoy!

To kick things off on this inaugural list: Typography Terms!

Kern:

to squeeze together characters, for a better fit of strokes and white space. In display type, characters almost need to be kerned because the white space between characters at large sizes is more noticeable.

Pica (PIE-ka):

A measurement used in typography for column widths and other space specifications in a page layout. There are 12 points in a pica, and approximately 6 picas to an inch.

Point:

A measurement used in typography for type size, leading, and other space specifications in a page layout. There are 12 points in a pica, and approximately 70 points to an inch.

Leading (LED-ing):

The space between lines of type, traditionally measured

baseline-to-baseline, in points. Text type is generally set with one or two points of leading; for example, 10-point type with 2 points of leading. This is described as 10/12, read “Ten on Twelve” or “Ten over Twelve”.

x-height:

The height of the lowercase “x.” More generally, the height of the lowercase letters.

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