Learn about basic type terminology.
- [Narrator] There are a couple of terms in the world of typography that are often used interchangeably, but technically they refer to different things. And you might well think, "Well, that doesn't really matter what you use if you're not a type nerd." Maybe it isn't. But it is useful to at least be aware of the distinctions, even if you're not using it in your day-to-day language. After all, you never know if you may one day require the assistance of one of those type nerds.
And they will appreciate you using the correct nomenclature. There are two main terms that are confused. Starting with font or typeface. A font is a delivery mechanism for a complete collection of a set of letterforms, like Helvetica Regular is a font. Helvetica Bold is another font. Helvetica Italic is another font. Back in the old days, these would've been metal blocks, each with a complete set of those letterforms that would be used in printing.
And these days, the delivery mechanism is a piece of software containing all of the letterforms in the font, matched to keystrokes, along with some other information to make it easy to use. The typeface is the design of the letterforms, known as the characters or glyphs and we'll speak about that in just a moment that you see. And years ago, someone gave me a really simple way to express this using one of my guilty pleasures: cookies.
Imagine you have some rolled out cookie dough and you reach for the cookie cutter to make some yummy cookies. The cookie cutter is the font. The yummy cookies that it makes are the typeface. Now, before we take a suddenly much-needed cookie break, let's just resolve the thing I mentioned a moment ago. Is it character or glyph? Well, characters are the letters that you type. Glyphs are the characters that are displayed.
Now, in this quote here from Paula Scher, if I decide to change the font I've used for the word meaning to an italic variance, the characters I typed were exactly the same. But the glyphs that you see are different. If I do the same with spirit and use a bold variant, here, again, the characters I typed are the same, but I'm using a bold font instead of the original one.
And if I go for the word combination, and change that to a bold, italic font, you can see that I'm now actually using, in this quote alone, four fonts, just there. So, with that all out of the way, let's learn about some further type anatomy.
- The creative process
- Layout and composition
- Transforming images and assets in Photoshop
- Drawing logos in Illustrator
- Designing graphics and documents in InDesign
Skill Level Beginner
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1. The Creative Process
2. Layout and Composition
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