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Typeface anatomy

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Title: Typeface anatomy  
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Typeface anatomy

Typographic parts of a glyph: 1) x-height; 2) ascender line; 3) apex; 4) baseline; 5) ascender; 6) crossbar; 7) stem; 8) serif; 9) leg; 10) bowl; 11) counter; 12) collar; 13) loop; 14) ear; 15) tie; 16) horizontal bar; 17) arm; 18) vertical bar; 19) cap height; 20) descender line.

Typeface anatomy describes the graphic elements that make up printed letters in a typeface.

The strokes of a letter are the lines that make it up. Strokes may be straight, as in k l v w x z, or curved, as in c o s. If straight, they may be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal; if curved, open or closed. Typographers also speak of an instroke, where one starts writing the letter, as at the top of a c f, and an outstroke, where the pen leaves off, as at the bottom of c e j k t y.

A main vertical stroke is called a stem. The letter m has three, the left, middle, and right stems. The central stroke of an s is called the spine. A stroke, usually a stem, which rises above the height of an x (called the v has one vertex.

The terminals (ends) of instrokes and outstrokes often end in G.

Areas of w has three corners); the term is not used for angles of strokes. The small corner formed by a serif, whether curved or angular, is called the serif bracket.

The font shown in the example is stressed: strokes have varying widths. In this example, the stroke at the top of the g is thinner at the top and bottom than on the sides - a vertical stress.

External links

  • Type Anatomy
  • Font Anatomy (source)
  • eXtreme Type Terminology – Part 2 and Part 3
  • The Anatomy of Type (2012, Harper Design) - a book with anatomical analysis of 100 typefaces
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