Graphic Design Terms About Typography

Most Used Graphic Design Terms about typography design inspiration design glossary

I already have showed you the most common graphic design terms to talk about color and branding, and on this post I will show you the 16 most common Graphic Design Terms used for typography and text.

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1. Typography

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 about typography design glossary

2. Serif Typeface

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

Serif Typeface Graphic Design Terms about typography design glossary

3. Sans-Serif Typeface

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

San Serif Graphic Design Terms about typography design glossary

4. Script Typeface

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

Script Typeface Graphic Design Terms about typography design glossary

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5. Slab-Serif Typeface

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

Slab Serif Typeface Graphic Design Terms about typography design glossary

6. Hierarchy

Hierarchy as I already mentioned on 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 Graphic Design Terms about typography design glossary

7. Kerning

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

Kerning Graphic Design Terms about typography design glossary

8. Leading

Leading refers to the 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 design glossary

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9. Tracking

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 of 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 Graphic Design Terms about typography design glossary

10. X-Height

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 design glossary

11. Ascender

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 design glossary

12. Descenders

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”.

Descender Graphic Design Terms about typography design glossary

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13. Orphans / Windows

Orphans and widows in typography refers 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 a uncomfortable visual feeling, that is why is recommended to check your texts to remove them.

Orphans and Windows Graphic Design Terms about typography design glossary

14. Lorem Ipsum

Lorem Ipsum in Graphic Design refers to a piece of text used as 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 about typography design glossary

15. Legibility

Legibility in typography is the measure on how easy 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 on the choice of typeface for your design and how you use it.

Legibility Graphic Design Terms about typography design glossary

16. Alignment

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

Alignment Graphic Design Terms about typography design glossary

Conclusion

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

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