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alphabet: a system of visual symbols representing the essential sound of language

aperture: a partially-enclosed space in that exists in some letterforms, such as lowercase n, e, or double-storey a, a capital C or S; a type of counter


apex: the point where two strokes meet at the top of a letterform, such as on a capital A


arc of stem: a rounded or curved stroke flowing from a straight stem of a letterform; also Joan of Arc’s favorite part of a letterform


arm: a horizontal, vertical, or angled stroke that does not connect to another stroke on one or both ends


ascender: a part of a lowercase (small) letterform that extends upward past the x-height


Aviator, the: see John Weigele


axis (also stress): the alignment of the thin stroke of a letterform







barb: a half-serif extending from a curved stroke


baseline: the implied line on which letterforms sit in a line of type


beak: a half-serif extending from a straight stroke


black: typestyle featuring thicker strokes than bold


Blackletter:  an elegantly vertical, calligraphic style of letter written with a flat-edged pen


bold: typestyle featuring thicker strokes than a regular or roman


bowl: the completely enclosed space (counter) of some letterforms, including lowercase o and b or capital B and D


bracket: the angled or cupped extensions that connect a serif to a stroke


butt: ha, ha… we made you say “butt”







calligrapher: maker of beautiful handwriting


calligraphy: literally translated, “beautiful handwriting”; the practice writing letterforms with a pen or brush in a continuous movement, often associated with official documents and formal celebrations


caption: a small body of text that identifies or explains an image, such as a photo or graphic


cap height: the vertical measure (height) of a capital (uppercase) letter


capital (also large or uppercase): majuscule letterform


capline: a line denoting the height of a capital (uppercase) letter


Carolingian minuscule: uniform style of writing, decreed by Charlemagne


character: letterform, punctuation, number, and any other typographic symbol


Christopher: see awesome


Clarendon (also grotesque slab): variation of slab serif type classification, with some thick-thin stroke contrast, bracketed serifs, and often ball terminals


condensed: typestyle of narrower-proportioned letterforms than a regular or roman


counter (also counterform): the negative shapes formed by partially or completely enclosed letterforms, such as in O, g, B, D, etc.


crossbar: the horizontal stroke of a letterform


cross stroke: a short horizontal that intersects with the stem of a lowercase t or f


crotch: the inside angle were two strokes of a letterform meet







decorative: specialty type classification for letterforms whose main characteristic is decorative graphical embellishment


descender: a part of a letterform that extends below the baseline


diacritic: an additional mark or stroke, usually atop or below a letterform, such as an accent, umlaut, or tilde


display type: type for headlines and subheads, usually set in about 12pt to 72pt


donut (also doughnut): Margaret Grzymkowski’s favorite food


drop cap: an enlarged capital letter at the start of a paragraph that pushes into a paragraph of text







ear: a small decorative stroke, commonly found on the upper right of a lowercase g and sometimes lowercase r


Egyptian (also geometric slab): variation of slab serif type classification, with little or no thick-thin stroke contrast and extremely heavy serifs with little or no bracketing


Egyptian informal (hieratic) cursive: a writing system implemented on papyrus (a plant) and created with ink and a brush


extended: typestyle of wider-proportioned letterforms than a regular or roman


eye: the enclosed space in a lowercase e







family (also type family): all the styles designed for a single typeface


finial: another term for the group of terminals that includes beaks, barbs, and swashes


flag: the horizontal stroke atop the numeral 5


font (also type font): the physical or digital delivery system of a typeface, serving up a complete set of glyphs, including all the letterforms, numbers, punctuation marks, and any other signs and symbols


Fraktur: variation of Gothic letterforms, decorative with flourishes


Frankfurter (also hot dog): a tasty lunch or dinner, especially at Yankee stadium


Friedman: (from the Jewish [Ashkenazic]): 1. Yiddish frid, meaning peace.  2. Designer, illustrator.  3. Doodle Boy.







Garalde: variation of roman (Old Style) type classification, with an axis that inclines to the left, a contrast in thin and thick strokes, and bracketed serifs


geometric:  variation of sans serif type classification that represents the break from shapes derived from handwriting (with thick-thin strokes) in favor of pure geometry. Vertical axes, little or no thick-thin stroke contrast, single-storey lowercase a


glyph: any iteration of a character


glyph shape: the character and the space around the character


glyph space: the space surrounding a single letterform


Gonnella: (from the Italian) 1. Tunic, cloak, mantle, later skirt. also taken with the given name Rose, little pink skirt.  2. Author, designer.  3. The Queen.


Gothic: type classification for letterforms based on medieval manuscript Blackletter, featuring a vertical orientation, heavy stroke weight, and condensed form


grid: a visual system or template on which to organize text into an easily recognized, cohesive structure


grotesque: variation of sans serif type classification, with sleeker style and machine-like, industrial qualities. Vertical axes, absence of thick-thin stroke contrast, horizontal terminals, closed apertures, and curved legs







half–uncials: letterforms including pronounced ascenders and descenders, first in use by the Roman Catholic Church


handmade: specialty type classification for letterforms meant to emulate handwriting or hand script


handwriting: the practice of writing letterforms by hand, often with a pen or pencil


hatch marks: straight “quotes” used for designating measurement in inches and feet height: the vertical measurement from the top of a capital letter to slightly past the lowest descender


hieroglyphs: the formal written language of the Ancient Egyptians, consisting of several kinds of glyphs that are phonetic (representing speech sounds) and ideographic (things or ideas).  also An ancient comic strip about a character named "Sphynxie" (Thank you, Nora Ephron)


Humanist: variation of sans serif type classification, inspired by Old Style forms. Angled axies, thick-thin stroke contrast, sometimes featuring flared terminals







indent: method of designating a new paragraph of text by creating a small blank space at the start of a paragraph


initial cap: an enlarged capital letter at the start of a paragraph that extends outside of a paragraph of text


italic: type style derived from handwriting; usually slanted counterparts to romans, but often featuring different styles of serifs and terminals







j (also J): a very lonely letter, as we have no vocab words that start with this letter; also Christopher’s middle initial— so that’s something







kerning: the precise adjustment of space between two letterforms. Kerning is generally determined by the typeface designer (kerning table or metric kerning), or by the layout software (optical kerning), or done manually by a typographer


keming: the result of improper kerning







leading (also line spacing): the measure of vertical space from the baseline of one line of text to the next line


leg: the lower angled stroke on a lowercase or capital K and capital R


legibility: the relative quality of a typeface’s or letterform’s design that determines if it is identifiable or recognizable


letter: represents a spoken sound


letterer: designer of custom-made letterforms


letterform: the visual shape of a spoken sound


lettering: carefully-designed and drawn letterforms, created for one-of-a-kind use (even though they may be disseminated through mass reproduction)


ligature: two or more characters joined together, forming one glyph

lining numerals: numbers uniform in height and are the same size of capital letters


link: the stroke connecting the bowl and loop of a double-storey lowercase g; also Link: the hero of Hyrule and friend of Princess Zelda


line break: method of designating a new paragraph of text by creating a blank line between one paragraph and the next


Linotype: a method of printing type, in common use for newspapers, magazines, and posters, etc. from the late 19th to the mid-20th centuries. The name Linotype was derived from that fact that the machine used to produce the type created an entire line of type at once (a line o' type), as opposed to one character at a time


loop: the enclosed or partially enclosed rounded descender of a lowercase g


lowercase (also small): minuscule letterform







majuscule:  formal inscribed Roman capital letterforms


margin: the frame or border that defines and contains the body text and other visual elements in a typographic composition


Max: ginger doodler


megafamily (also superfamily): an extended type family featuring more complex features than a standard family; can include both serif and sans serif versions of the typeface


minuscule: rounded, cursive letterforms derived from Roman handwriting


Modern (also Modern roman): type classification for letterforms originating in the neoclassical and industrial era. Vertical axes, highly contrasting thick and thin strokes, serifs often without brackets







Navetta: (from the Italian) 1. shuttle, a device that holds the horizontal thread and passes it through the vertical threads in weaving.  2. vehicle, such as a ship, that transports people over a short route.  3. Author, designer, sabersmith.  4. Scanman.


Non-lining (also Old Style) numerals: numbers with ascenders and descenders







oblique: type style that slants the basic roman form


Old Style (also Old Style roman): type classification of letterforms based on ancient Roman (roman) shapes, derived from 15th century minuscule forms, written with varying stroke thickness made by an obliquely-held flat pen


outdent (also hanging indent): method of designating a new paragraph of text by starting the first line pushed out from the rest of the body of text







parchment: a writing surface made from animal skins; allows for smooth writing with a brush or a flat, reed pen


penmanship: skill in the practice of handwriting


Perfecta (or Princess Perfecta): see Margaret Grzymkowski


pica: a unit of measurement in typography, commonly used for line length or column width


point (also pt): a unit of measurement for type size, originally based on the height of a metal type slug


proportion: the height-to-width relationship within a letterfrom. Two general proportions are component, in which widths vary noticeably; and even-width, in which letterform width varies as little as possible


punchcutting: hand-cutting letterforms into blocks of metal







Q: lead designer, inventor, and armorer of Q Branch; ally to James Bond







Rational: letterform with a vertical axis or stress


readability: the relative visual quality of a type layout, determining if the text is easy to follow and understand


rivers: awkward negative spaces running through a body of text, created as a result of poor tracking


Roman: originating from, related to, or derived from the city of Rome.  also Maximus Decimus Meridius, a Hispano-Roman legatus and general of the Felix Legions, forced into becoming a slave by the Emperor Commodus, and who subsequently sought revenge against said emperor.


roman (also regular): the basic, upright, medium-weight, medium-width style of a typeface


Rose: by any other name would smell as sweet


Rotunda: rounded variation of Gothic minuscule letterforms


Roy (also Roy G. Biv): design enthusiast and Design Fundamentals mascot







sans serif: type classification for letterforms without serifs


Schwabacher: rounded, cursive variation of Gothic letterforms


script: type classification for letterforms that imitate handwriting. Letterforms are often joined. Scripts are subcategorized based on the writing tool they emulate, such as flat-edged pen, flexible pointed pen, and brush


semi-bold: typestyle featuring thicker strokes than a regular or roman yet thinner than bold


serif [letterform anatomy]: an extension projecting from the end of the main stroke of a letterform


serif [type classification]: type classification for letterforms that feature prominent, decorative serifs. Variations include Latin, slab, bifurcated, and Tuscan, among others


set width: the horizontal measure of a letterform, including a fraction of space beyond the letterform itself, creating space between two adjacent letterforms


slab serif: type classification for letterforms with a bold, industrial aesthetic, vertical axes, overall thick strokes and heavy (sometimes bracketed) serifs


small capitals: majuscule style of letterform designed to match the size of small letterforms, integrating well into a line of type


smart quotes (and apostrophes): curly quotation marks or apostrophes used for contractions and quotations


spine: the main (middle) curved stroke of a capital or lowercase S


spur: a small, ornamental projection from a main stroke. also spurs look cool on cowboy boots


stem: the main, usually vertical stroke of a letterform


stress (also axis): the alignment of the thin stroke of a letterform


stroke: any line that makes up a letterform, contributing to the letterform’s weight. Different strokes within the same letterform can vary in width. Different strokes are also for different folks.


stroke modulation: the variation of a letterform’s stroke from thick to thin


superfamily (also megafamily): an extended type family featuring more complex features than a standard family; can include both serif and sans serif versions of the typeface


swash: a delightfully exaggerated stroke, serif, terminal, or tail







terminal: the end of a stroke that doesn’t end with a serif


text type: type for bodies of reading text, body copy, and captions, usually set at about 5pt to 11pt


Textura: variation of European Gothic Blackletter style of letterform, used famously by Johannes Gutenberg


thin (also light): type style featuring strokes thinner than those of a regular or roman


tittle (also dot): a small diacritical mark atop a lowercase i or j


tracking (also letterspacing): the adjustment of space in a group of letters, such as a word, sentence, paragraph, column, etc.


Transitional (also Transitional roman): type classification for letterforms influenced by copperplate engraved letters and signifying a transition from Garalde to Modern, having characteristics of each. Axes incline to the left, contrast in thick and thin strokes, and bracketed serifs


type: a shape or design of letterforms, created for reproduction in print or on screen


type classification: system by which typefaces are categorized, providing a quick and (fairly) easy method of recognizing and selecting typefaces. The basis for typeface classifications is chronological order and the accompanying hallmark visual features


type designer: designer of letterforms and the spaces in between


typeface: a single, visually unified collection of characters, often named after designers, places, or in a visually-descriptive manner


type family (also family): all the styles designed for a single typeface


type foundry (also type house): studios that design and digitize type for mass distribution


type style: a variant of a typeface that differs in weight and/or stroke thickness, or stress, but not in its basic and characteristic design


typographer: a designer who composes with type


typographic color: the overall tone (lightness or darkness) of a body of text, created by factors such as tracking, leading, wordspacing, and weight of a typeface


typography: the design of words, sentences, paragraphs and columns, headlines, and captions on a screen or page







uncial: rounded letterforms that are freely-drawn majuscules






Venetian: variation of roman (Old Style) type classification, with an axis inclining to the left, no great contrast between thick and thin strokes, and bracketed serifs. also the type of blinds on my office windows






weight: the perceived visual heaviness of a letterform, usually dictated by the width of its stroke, ranging from thin or light to bold or black


words (also words, words, words): the matter that Hamlet reads


wordspace: the blank area between adjacent words in a line of text






x-height: the vertical measure of a typeface’s lowercase x


X-Wing: one-man starfighter craft, produced by the Incom Corporation; favored by the Rebel Alliance






y: Because I said so. That’s why.






zzzzzz (also sleep): what the authors, designers, and illustrators did not do while working on these books

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