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Typography Terms

5 Key Typography Terms and Concepts Explained

In a previous blog we explored the font categories Serif and Sans Serifs and how they will impact on your print. Once you’ve narrowed which font category to use for your brochure, flyer or other printed product there is another series of factors that you should consider.

  1. Leading - this is the vertical space between each line of type. This is where you can give your letters space to breath while keeping the lines close enough to ensure they remain comfortable to read.
     
  2. Tracking - this is a uniform adjustment in a range of text to increase or decrease the space between individual letters. Tracking is frequently confused with ‘kerning’

    Example of kerning
  3. Kerning - this is an adjustment between a pair of letters, numeral, punctuation marks etc. so that their space appears correct. For example the letters AV have to overlap in any usual typeface. Below is an example of poor kerning and good kerning between the ‘r’ and the ‘n’ in ‘kerning’
     
  4. Point - This is the smallest unit of measure in typography. It’s used to measure point size, leading and other items on a printed page. The exact size of a point has varied over the centuries however today it is defined as 1/72 of an inch.
     
  5. White space – this is the portion of blank space used in a page layout to enable the text and graphical elements such as photos to breathe. It can occasionally be referred to as ‘negative space’ and it’s important as it keeps the design from being too cluttered and thus confusing.

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