Typography - Basics
Good typographers decorate. Great typographers communicate.
- Font/Typeface: a set of characters meant to be used together.
- Whitespace: generic term for the empty space between elements.
- Leading/Line spacing: the empty space between lines of text.
- Line height: overall height of a line, including empty space and letters.
- Word spacing: width of the empty space between words.
- Tracking/Letter spacing: width of the empty space between letters.
- Gutter: the width of the empty space between columns of text.
- Kerning: the process of changing the empty space between letters.
- Ascender: the upward tails for letters like h, l, t, and d.
- Descender: the downward tails for letters like g, p and y.
- X-height: the height of a letter without ascenders and descenders.
- Counter: the empty space inside letters like o, d and p.
- Baseline: the imaginary line that letters form with their x-height.
Typography is a lot more than fonts. Choice of fonts is important, but not the main focus of typography. Good typography results from text placement, styling and sizing. Typeface mainly affects the usability and the mood the text emits.
Text is a user interface, not just content. Think about the message and emotion you are delivering. Is current typography supporting this? People will not remember what typeface you used, they will only remember what is the feeling they got from reading the text.