Most Used Graphic Design Terms about Typography

Most Used Graphic Design Terms About Typography Graphic Design Tips

Typography is fundamental element in graphic design and plays a huge role to transmit feelings and your brand message as it sets your tone and voice. There are many graphic design terms about typography that many designers use them wrong, that is why I made this post showing you the most used typography terms explaining them.



Typography is the artistic display of type and text in a readable and visually appealing way to help the design to communicate better the idea of the design in a visual way to make it easier for the viewer to understand the message.

Typography Graphic Design Terms

Serif Typeface

Serif typefaces are fonts with small decorative details called “serifs” as the name indicates and you can find these strokes at the end of the lines in horizontal and vertical ways, and usually, the serif typefaces are used to communicate professionalism, authority, and traditional style.

Serif Typeface Graphic Design Terms about Typography

Sans-Serif Typeface

Sans Serif Typefaces are the opposite of serif typefaces, these fonts are typefaces without the decorative strokes called serifs, and usually, these fonts are used to transmit a modern style and cleaner visual.

San Serif Typeface Graphic Design Terms


Script Typeface

Script typefaces as their name indicate are typefaces that imitate the script and handwriting style and they are used to transmit an elegant look, more personal feeling to the viewer, and more casual aesthetic.

Script Typeface Graphic Design Terms

Slab-Serif Typeface

Slab-Serif Typefaces are very similar to the Serif Typefaces but the main difference between them is that the Slab-Serif typeface is thicker with blockier serifs and they tend to look bolder, usually, these typefaces are used as titles and headlines but never as copy due they stronger nature.

Slab Serif Typeface Graphic Design Terms about typography


Hierarchy as I already mentioned in my post about the graphic design principles is used to arrange the different design elements of the composition depending on their importance in the design and in Typography is organized in Heading, Subheading, and Body Copy.

Hierarchy Typography Graphic Design Terms



Kerning is a really common technique used by Graphic Designer and it consists of the manual adjustment of space between two characters in your type to make it more natural and eye-pleasing for the viewer.

Kerning Typography Graphic Design Terms


Leading refers to space between different lines of type in your text, with too tight leading in your type it can make your text unreadable and create a lot of visual tension to the viewer, but with extra loose leading we can create the feeling of disconnection between the lines in your text, that’s why is important to find the exact balance between lines.

Leading Graphic Design Terms about typography


Tracking in Graphic Design refers to the space between the different characters in your type, but when we are adjusting the tracking we are adjusting the space between all the letter in the body text and don’t confuse with kerning because kerning refers to the adjustment of only two individual letters in your type.


And as happen with leading if we make tight tracking, all the characters in your type will be too close to each other and it will create visual tension and make your text unreadable, but if we add a loose tracking the different letters from your text will have to much distance between them and creates disconnection feeling.

Tracking Typography Graphic Design Terms



X-Height in typography refers to the average height of lowercase characters from your typeface, and this value is usually exemplified by the letter “x” in all typefaces, and that is the reason for his name.

X Height Graphic Design Terms about typography


To understand better the ascender term in typography we need to already know what is X-Height explained above, and ascender refers to the part of lowercase letters that extends above the x-height in your typeface, and to identify the ascender we usually use the letters “b”, “d” and “f”.

Ascender Graphic Design Terms about typography


Descender term in typography is completely the opposite as ascender, descender refers to the part of the letter that extends below the x-height, and to identify it we use the letters “g”, “j” and “p”.

Descenders Graphic Design Terms about Typography


Orphans and widows in typography refer to words and short lines that appear at the bottom or the top from your body copy and they can cause disconnection from the main type or an uncomfortable visual feeling, that is why is recommended to check your texts to remove them.

Orphans and Windows Graphic Design Terms

Lorem Ipsum

Lorem Ipsum in Graphic Design refers to a piece of text used as a placeholder in your design that later will be swapped with the real text, and it’s used to see how the text interacts with your design, and this piece of text comes from “The Extremes of Good and Evil” written by Cicero in 45 BCE.

Lorem Ipsum Graphic Design Terms


Legibility in typography is the measure of how easy it or hard is to read the text of your design and if it’s easy to differentiate one letter from the next. Legibility plays a huge role in the choice of typeface for your design and how you use it.

Legibility Graphic Design Terms about typography


Alignment in Graphic Design is how the lining of your text achieve balance, order, and a more logical layout for your design. There are four different types of typographical alignment, center, left, right, and justified and every one of these typographic alignments works differently depending on the place and application.

Alignment Graphic Design Terms about typography



Hope you find this post about the 16 most used graphic design terms about typography useful and if you want to learn more about Graphic Design Glossary you can check my posts about the most used terms in graphic design about color and branding or learn more about typography.

Most Used Graphic Design Terms about Typography Explained

If you found this post useful you might like to read these post about Typography Design Inspiration.


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