x-height: the height of a lowercase x (and all lowercase letters.)
Ascender: Lower case letters that are tall, such as h, k, d, b, f
Descender: Lowercase letters that go below the baseline, like p, q, y, g
Point size: A point is 1/72 of an inch and the way fonts are measured in height.
Leading: How designers measure spacing. It is the height of the type plus the
space between lines, so 12 point type with 2 points between lines has a leading of
14 points. 12 point type that is double spaced has a leading of 24 points.
Leading is often written with the font size/leading, so 12 point type with 14
point leading is 12/14.
Alignment: How the font is aligned.
Justified texts lines up on both sides. Unless you force justify, the last line will
not be forced to line up. Justified text is the easiest to read because your eyes
always know where to go.
Flush left or left aligned means the words are lined up on the left side, but
ragged on the right. It is easy to read, and has a more modern feel to it.
Flush right or right aligned is lined up on the right side and ragged on the left.
It isn’t as natural to read, but can make for dynamic looking pages if used
Centered is ragged on both sides. It lacks the cleanness of justified text and the
coolness of flush left or right. In small doses or in narrow side bars it works,
Types of Fonts
Serif: Has little marks at the ends of the letters called serifs. This the oldest and
most conservative type of font. Serif fonts are easy to read and generally don’t
call attention to themselves, so they blend in. They can be used for anything,
text, headlines, cut lines etc.
Examples: Times, Georgia, Hoefler Text, Palatino, New York
Sans Serif: “Sans” means “without” in French so these fonts are without serifs.
Like serif fonts, they are easy to read, and can be used for pretty much anything.
Sans Serifs give a more modern feel than serif fonts
Examples: Arial, Geneva, Tahoma, Trebuchet MS, Verdana
Monotype Fonts: In these fonts, all of the letters take up the same amount of
space (like they are typewritten). Newspaper and yearbook don’t use these fonts
much, but they are popular with students trying to stretch a two-page paper into
a three-page paper.
Examples: Andale Mono, Courier New, Monaco
Script Fonts: These fonts look like handwriting. They give a slightly
formal, elegant feel to the writing. Because they aren’t very readable, they are
only good for headlines or decoration. They are often seen in wedding
Examples: Bradley Hand, Lucinda Handwriting, Party LET .
Novelty (or Fantasy) Fonts: This category includes all other fonts, most of which
are fun, but not terribly easy to read. They can be used sparingly in headlines
and as decoration.
Examples: Bragadocio Cracked, Herculanum, Curlz MT
Symbol Fonts: Use symbols instead of letters. These can sometimes work as
decorations, but should be used sparingly. Webdings
Find four examples of each type of font. Type the font in its own font, and type a
word or two that describes the mood the font gives. Do not reuse mood words.
Gill Sans – clean
Helvetica – modern
Skia – rough