Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written languagelegible, readable, and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point sizes, line lengths, line-spacing (leading), and letter-spacing (tracking), and adjusting the space between pairs of letters (kerning). The term typography is also applied to the style, arrangement, and appearance of the letters, numbers, and symbols created by the process. Type design is a closely related craft, sometimes considered part of typography; most typographers do not design typefaces, and some type designers do not consider themselves typographers. Typography also may be used as a decorative device, unrelated to communication of information.
Typography is the work of typesetters (also known as compositors), typographers, graphic designers, art directors, manga artists, comic book artists, graffiti artists, and, now, anyone who arranges words, letters, numbers, and symbols for publication, display, or distribution, from clerical workers and newsletter writers to anyone self-publishing materials. Until the Digital Age, typography was a specialized occupation. Digitization opened up typography to new generations of previously unrelated designers and lay users. As the capability to create typography has become ubiquitous, the application of principles and best practices developed over generations of skilled workers and professionals has diminished. So at a time when scientific techniques can support the proven traditions (e.g., greater legibility with the use of serifs, upper and lower case, contrast, etc.) through understanding the limitations of human vision, typography as often encountered may fail to achieve its principal objective: effective communication.
In typography, line length is the width of a block of typesettext, usually measured in units of length like inches or points or in characters per line (in which case it is a measure). A block of text or paragraph has a maximum line length that fits a determined design. If the lines are too short then the text becomes disjointed; if they are too long the content loses rhythm as the reader searches for the start of each line.
Line length is determined by typographic parameters based on a formal grid and template with several goals in mind; balance and function for fit and readability with a sensitivity to aesthetic style in typography. Typographers adjust line length to aid legibility or copy fit. Text can be flush left and ragged right, flush right and ragged left, or justified where all lines are of equal length. In a ragged right setting line lengths vary to create a ragged right edge of lines varying in length. Sometimes this can be visually satisfying. For justified and ragged right settings typographers can adjust line length to avoid unwanted hyphens, rivers of white space, and orphaned words/characters at the end of lines (e.g.: "The", "I", "He", "We"). Read more...
Kerning brings A and V closer with their serifs over each other
In typography, kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font, usually to achieve a visually pleasing result. Kerning adjusts the space between individual letter forms, while tracking (letter-spacing) adjusts spacing uniformly over a range of characters. In a well-kerned font, the two-dimensional blank spaces between each pair of characters all have a visually similar area.
The related term kern denotes a part of a type letter that overhangs the edge of the type block. Read more...
Example of subscript and superscript. In each example the first “2” is professionally designed, and is included as part of the glyph set; the second “2” is a manual approximation using a small version of the standard “2.” The visual weight of the first “2” matches the other characters better. (The top typeface is Adobe Garamond Pro; the size of the subscript is about 62% of the original characters, dropped below the baseline by about 16%. The second typeface is Myriad Pro; the superscript is about 60% of the original characters, raised by about 44% above the baseline.)
A subscript or superscript is a character (number, letter or symbol) that is (respectively) set slightly below or above the normal line of type. It is usually smaller than the rest of the text. Subscripts appear at or below the baseline, while superscripts are above. Subscripts and superscripts are perhaps most often used in formulas, mathematical expressions, and specifications of chemical compounds and isotopes, but have many other uses as well.
In professional typography, subscript and superscript characters are not simply ordinary characters reduced in size; to keep them visually consistent with the rest of the font, typeface designers make them slightly heavier (i.e. medium or bold typography) than a reduced-size character would be. The vertical distance that sub- or superscripted text is moved from the original baseline varies by typeface and by use. Read more...
The dash is a punctuation mark that is similar in appearance to U+002D-HYPHEN-MINUS and U+2212−MINUS SIGN, but differs from these symbols in both length and height. The most common versions of the dash are the en dash (–), equal to half the height of the font; the em dash (—), twice as long as the en dash; and the horizontal bar (―), whose length varies across typefaces.
Historically, the names of en dash and em dash were loosely related to the width of a lower-case n and upper-case M, respectively, in commonly used typefaces. Read more...
Color printing or colour printing is the reproduction of an image or text in color (as opposed to simpler black and white or monochromeprinting). Any natural scene or color photograph can be optically and physiologically dissected into three primary colors, red, green and blue, roughly equal amounts of which give rise to the perception of white, and different proportions of which give rise to the visual sensations of all other colors. The additive combination of any two primary colors in roughly equal proportion gives rise to the perception of a secondary color. For example, red and green yields yellow, red and blue yields magenta (a purple hue), and green and blue yield cyan (a turquoise hue). Only yellow is counter-intuitive. Yellow, cyan and magenta are merely the "basic" secondary colors: unequal mixtures of the primaries give rise to perception of many other colors all of which may be considered "tertiary." Read more...
A widowed line: the last line of a paragraph, all alone on the other side of a page break.
At the end of the first paragraph, the word "lorem" is an orphan in the second sense: a very short final line that, because the rest of its line is white, creates an impression of two lines of whitespace between the paragraphs.
In typesetting, widows and orphans are lines at the beginning or end of a paragraph, which are left dangling at the top or bottom of a column, separated from the rest of the paragraph. (The strictly correct term for the top and bottom of the page are head and foot, respectively.) There is some disagreement about the definitions of widow and orphan; what one source calls a widow another calls an orphan. The Chicago Manual of Style uses these definitions:
;Widow: A paragraph-ending line that falls at the beginning of the following page or column, thus separated from the rest of the text. Mnemonically, a widow is "alone at the top" (albeit of the family tree but, in this case, of the page). ;Orphan: A paragraph-opening line that appears by itself at the bottom of a page or column, thus separated from the rest of the text. Mnemonically, an orphan is "alone at the bottom" (albeit of the family tree but, in this case, of the page). Read more...
Swashes marked with red color
A swash is a typographical flourish, such as an exaggerated serif, terminal, tail, entry stroke, etc., on a glyph. The use of swash characters dates back to at least the 16th century, as they can be seen in Ludovico Vicentino degli Arrighi's La Operina, which is dated 1522. As with italic type in general, they were inspired by the conventions of period handwriting. Arrighi's designs influenced designers in Italy and particularly in France. Read more...
A tittle or superscript dot is a small distinguishing mark, such as a diacritic or the dot on a lowercasei or j. The tittle is an integral part of the glyph of i and j, but diacritic dots can appear over other letters in various languages. In most languages, the tittle of i or j is omitted when a diacritic is placed in the tittle's usual position (as í or ��), but not when the diacritic appears elsewhere (as į, ɉ). Read more...
In typography, small capitals (usually abbreviated small caps) are lowercasecharacters typeset with glyphs that resemble uppercase letters ("capitals") but reduced in height and weight, close to the surrounding lowercase (small) letters or text figures, for example: Text in Small Caps. Note that this is technically not a case-transformation, but a substitution of glyphs, although the effect is often simulated by case-transformation and scaling. Small caps are used in running text as a form of emphasis that is less dominant than all uppercase text, and as a method of emphasis or distinctiveness for text alongside or instead of italics, or when boldface is inappropriate. Small caps can be used to draw attention to the opening phrase or line of a new section of text, or to provide an additional style in a dictionary entry where many parts must be typographically differentiated.
Well-designed small capitals are not simply scaled-down versions of normal capitals; they normally retain the same stroke weight as other letters and have a wider aspect ratio for readability. Read more...
A figure space is a typographic unit equal to the size of a single typographic figure (numeral or letter), minus leading. Its size can fluctuate somewhat depending on which font is being used. This is the preferred space to use in numbers. It has the same width as a digit and keeps the number together for the purpose of line breaking. Read more...
camelCase is named after the "hump" of its proceeding capital letter, similar to the hump of common camels.
Camel case (stylized as camelCase; also known as camel caps or more formally as medial capitals) is the practice of writing phrases such that each word or abbreviation in the middle of the phrase begins with a capital letter, with no intervening spaces or punctuation. Common examples include "iPhone" and "eBay". It is also sometimes used in online usernames such as "johnSmith", and to make multi-word domain names more legible, for example in advertisements.
Camel case is often used for variable names in computer programming. Some programming styles prefer camel case with the first letter capitalised, others not. For clarity, this article calls the two alternatives upper camel case (initial uppercase letter, also known as Pascal case) and lower camel case (initial lowercase letter, also known as Dromedary case). Some people and organizations, notably Microsoft, use the term camel case only for lower camel case. Pascal case means only upper camel case. Read more...
An em is a unit in the field of typography, equal to the currently specified point size. For example, one em in a 16-point typeface is 16 points. Therefore, this unit is the same for all typefaces at a given point size.
Example of type sizes used in the books and newspapers: (1) Great Primer (18 pt, 6.35 mm),
(2) English (14 pt, ≈4.939 mm),
(3) Pica (12 pt, ≈4.233 mm),
(4) Small Pica (11 pt, ≈3.881 mm),
(5) Long Primer (10 pt, ≈3.528 mm),
(6) Bourgeois (9 pt, 3.175 mm),
(7) Brevier (8 pt, ≈2.822 mm),
(8) Minion (7 pt, ≈2.469 mm),
(9) Nonpareil (6 pt, ≈2.117 mm),
(10) Pearl (5 pt, ≈1.764 mm) and
(11) Diamond (4.5 pt, 1.5875 mm).
Fonts originally consisted of a set of moveable type letterpunches purchased from a type foundry. As early as 1600, the sizes of these types—their "bodies"—acquired traditional names in English, French, German, and Dutch, usually from their principal early uses. These names were used relative to the others and their exact length would vary over time, from country to country, and from foundry to foundry. For example, "agate" and "ruby" used to be a single size "agate ruby" of about 5 points; metal type known as "agate" later ranged from 5 to 5.8 points. The sizes were gradually standardized as described above. Modern Chinese typography uses the following names in general preference to stating the number of points. In ambiguous contexts, the word hào (t號, s号, lit. "number") is added to the end of the size name to clarify the meaning.
Note that the Chinese font sizes use American points; the Continental systems traditionally used the Fournier or Didot points. The Fournier points, being smaller than Didot's, were associated with the names of the Didot type closest in size rather than identical in number of points. Read more...
In typography, leading (/ˈlɛdɪŋ/LED-ing) refers to the distance between adjacent lines of type; however, the exact definition has become confused. In the days of hand-typesetting, it referred to the thin strips of lead that were inserted into the forms to increase the vertical distance between lines of type; in this case, the leading would be defined as the difference between 2 quantities: the size of the type and the distance from one baseline to the next. For instance, given a type size of 10 points and a distance between baselines of 12 points, the leading would be 2 points; put another way, a leading of 2 points means there is a distance of 2 points from the bottom of the high line of type to the top of the low line of type. In modern times, though, there seems to be widespread use of "leading" to refer instead to just the distance from one baseline to the next, probably because modern layout software tracks that quantity instead of a virtual strip of lead.
The term is still used in modern page-layout software such as QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign. In consumer-oriented word-processing software, this concept is usually referred to as "line spacing" or "interline spacing", the latter of which is actually a more accurate description of the original meaning. Read more...
Calligraphy (from Greek: καλλιγραφία) is a visual art related to writing. It is the design and execution of lettering with a broad tip instrument, brush, or other writing instruments. A contemporary calligraphic practice can be defined as "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious, and skillful manner".
Modern calligraphy ranges from functional inscriptions and designs to fine-art pieces where the letters may or may not be readable.[page needed] Classical calligraphy differs from typography and non-classical hand-lettering, though a calligrapher may practice both. Read more...
The lower-case "a" and upper-case "A" are the two case variants of the first letter in the English alphabet.
Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger upper case (also uppercase, capital letters, capitals, caps, large letters, or more formally majuscule) and smaller lower case (also lowercase, small letters, or more formally minuscule) in the written representation of certain languages. The writing systems that distinguish between the upper and lower case have two parallel sets of letters, with each letter in one set usually having an equivalent in the other set. The two case variants are alternative representations of the same letter: they have the same name and pronunciation and are treated identically when sorting in alphabetical order.
Letter case is generally applied in a mixed-case fashion, with both upper- and lower-case letters appearing in a given piece of text. The choice of case is often prescribed by the grammar of a language or by the conventions of a particular discipline. In orthography, the upper case is primarily reserved for special purposes, such as the first letter of a sentence or of a proper noun, which makes the lower case the more common variant in regular text. In some contexts, it is conventional to use one case only. For example, engineering design drawings are typically labelled entirely in upper-case letters, which are easier to distinguish than the lower case, especially when space restrictions require that the lettering be small. In mathematics, on the other hand, letter case may indicate the relationship between objects, with upper-case letters often representing "superior" objects (e.g. X could be a set containing the generic member x). Read more...
A style guide or manual of style is a set of standards for the writing, formatting and design of documents. It is often called a style sheet, although that term may have other meanings. These standards can be applied either for general use, or be required usage for an individual publication, a particular organization, or a specific field.
In a written or published work, an initial or drop cap is a letter at the beginning of a word, a chapter, or a paragraph that is larger than the rest of the text. The word is derived from the Latininitialis, which means standing at the beginning. An initial is often several lines in height and in older books or manuscripts, sometimes ornately decorated.
In illuminated manuscripts, initials with images inside them, such as those illustrated here, are known as historiated initials. They were an invention of the Insular art of the British Isles in the eighth century. Initials containing, typically, plant-form spirals with small figures of animals or humans that do not represent a specific person or scene are known as "inhabited" initials. Certain important initials, such as the Beatus initial or "B" of Beatus vir... at the opening of Psalm 1 at the start of a vulgate Latin psalter, could occupy a whole page of a manuscript. Read more...
Overshoot is the degree that capital letters go below the baseline or above the cap height, and lowercase letters go below the baseline or above the mean line.
In typeface design, 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; it compensates for inaccuracies in human visual perception.
Formally, overshoot is the degree to which capital letters go below the baseline or above the cap height, or to which a lowercase letter goes below the baseline or above the x-height. Read more...
For editor resources and to collaborate with other editors on improving Wikipedia's Typography-related articles, see WikiProject Typography.
A specimen sheet of the Trajan typeface, which is based on the letter forms of capitalis monumentalis or Roman square capitals used for the inscription at the base of Trajan's Column, from which the typeface takes its name
Nineteenth century wanted poster for John Wilkes Booth (the assassin of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln) printed with lead and woodcut type, and incorporating photography
Text typeset example in Iowan Old Style roman, italics, and small caps, optimized at approximately ten words per line, typeface sized at 14 points on 1.4 × leading, with 0.2 points extra tracking using an extract of an essay by Oscar WildeThe English Renaissance of Art c. 1882
Text typeset using LaTeX digital typesetting software, often used for academic papers and journals