Graphics & Design

Define Typography: The Most Essential Typography Terms You Must Know

Fiverr Team
December 29, 2021

In putting up advertisements, infographics, posters, or announcements, nothing is more important than delivering a clear, engaging, and legible message. But to help your content resonate more with your audience, did you know that you can make its aesthetics more dynamic and more appealing?

That's where the different elements of typography enter the picture.

What Is Typography?

Typography is the process of organizing and designing content in a creative and engaging manner. Even if you're a beginner in content design, applying the basic principles of typography will make you look like a pro. Typography doesn't just encourage a second glance, but it also keeps your audience engaged in the experience.

While it's true that it may take some time to master the finest points of typography, taking a look at the following fundamental elements is more than enough to get you started.

Know These Essential Typography Terms

If you're learning typography for the first time, you may find it overwhelming to see a whole list of technical terms, so it's recommended that you get to the basics first.

1. Typeface

Also known as font family, a typeface is a group of letters, numbers, punctuations, and other symbols that adhere to a specific style or design. Some popular examples of typefaces are Arial, Garamond, and Helvetica.

2. Font

Always remember that there is a difference between a font and its typeface. A single typeface has different fonts that vary in terms of size, style, and weight. For example, Arial is a typeface, and Arial Regular, Arial Narrow, and Arial Black are fonts.

3. Serif and Sans-Serif

An additional line or hook attached to letterforms is called a serif. The serif is utilized not just for creativity but to denote distinction between letterforms. On the other hand, a sans-serif is simply a font's letter or symbol without extra lines or hooks.

4. X-height

This is basically the space between the baseline and the midline. The measurement of the x-height also indicates the height of a lowercase letter, although it doesn't include ascenders and descenders.

5. Ascender and Descender

An ascender is a part in a lowercase letter that stretches out above the x-height, as you can find in the letters "b" or "d".  On the contrary, the descender is the stroke in a lowercase letter that extends below the baseline, which you can see in the letters "g" or "j".

6. Baseline and Midline

The midline is the imaginary line where lowercase letters without an ascender stop, while the baseline is the imaginary line where all characters without a descender appear to rest.

7. Body Height

As opposed to the x-height, the body height also considers ascenders and descenders in measuring the distance between the top of the tallest letterform to the bottom of the lowest one.

8. Leading

This refers to the vertical distance between two adjacent baselines or any successive lines of type. The measurement of the leading doesn't include descenders.

9. Tracking and Kerning

Tracking and kerning may be similar in concept, but an important distinction separates these two typography terms. Tracking is the horizontal space between a sequence of characters that should be consistent or uniform for a whole word, line, or paragraph. On the flip side, kerning refers to the space between two consecutive characters or letterforms that can be adjusted on a case-by-case basis.

10. Line Break and Paragraph Break

Often referred to as a crucial aid in text readability, a line break is a space between two blocks of text that indicates the end of one line and the beginning of another. Conversely, a paragraph break is a space that indicates the end of one paragraph and the beginning of the next paragraph.

These Typography Terms Could Boost Your Brand's Identity

If you're in the process of crafting your brand's identity, you can reach out to Fiverr's bevy of brilliant graphic and logo designers to get started. Always remember that beautiful typography helps people relate more to you and your platform, and Fiverr is here to help you reach that goal.

Fiverr Team
Whether you’re scaling up your small business or building a brand from scratch, we’ve got the resources you need to keep you informed and at the top of your game.
content creator
Content Marketing
OTT Streaming: How Content Creators Make Money
Learn how you can launch your own OTT video channel, find your audience, and monetize your content.
Articles & Blog Posts
The 80/20 Rule Explained
If you want to free up your time and enjoy greater success, applying the 80/20 rule to your blog can help. These simple tips will help you get started.
book editing
Book & eBook Writing
The Different Methods of Book Editing
Looking for a book editor? Fiverr's team of freelance editors specializes in different methods of book editing so you can easily achieve your writing goals.
Choose a language
Check mark icon