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10 Typography Terms You Need to Know

10 Typography Terms You Need to Know

Terms You Need To Know

Yes, there’s a lingo that is understood among designers that may sound foreign to an outsider: don’t be an outsider. Catch up on the language of your talent and be on the same page as them. Trust me, they will appreciate you for it. In this article you will learn about some basic typeface and typography terms which pertain to the industries where you would see designers in printing, advertising, and marketing.

Take some time to learn the commonly used terms.


1. Copy
Copy is the body of text that will be displayed in all of the advertisement or signage. Some marketing teams will have a copy editor, which is a crucial role to be sure the correct punctuation and sentence structure is considered before approval of designs or material are considered.

2. Kerning
In typography, there are a few terms to describe the relationship between letters and words. Kerning is the spatial balance between each letter in a space, usually referring to the letters in a word.

3. Leading
Another term within the typography realm of designing, is leading. This is the relationship between vertical positioning of a paragraph within the bottom of one line to the top of the line underneath.

4. Tracking
This resolved the positioning of even spacing within each entire word, not each letter, which is confusing and mistaken by the typography term kerning

5. Ascender
Lower case letters have a common height, which is called an x-height. Any part of a letter that is above the x-height is called an ascender.

6. Descender
In the opposite case of letters above the x-height, there are lower case letters that fall below the baseline. These descenders are commonly the same in most fonts. However, fancy script fonts may include descender and ascender portions of the font.

7. Serif
An example of a serif font is the glorious Times Roman typeface. Any decorative stroke at the corner or end of a letter is called a serif. It is most commonly used for small text and books because of it’s legibility and flow while reading.

8. Sans Serif
This is a typeface without any decorative elements, which looks more modern and cleaner than text commonly used in novel printing.

9. Script
The most popular style of script fonts appears like handwriting or the use of organic shapes instead of a linear straight display of characters.

10. Slab Serif
Looking for something bold? This is a font style that will surely fit your need! Slab fonts are thicker, bolder, and commonly used in headlines or titles for a strong statement.


If I didn’t cover something that you think is important to discuss, then please write it in the comments below! Thank you so much for reading! I hope this article helps with explaining a few things for designers and team members that work with designers.

If you want to know more about different terms according to other parts of designing, then please checkout [link to How to Read Colors]

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