Curious about typographic design and how it can help your small business? As a graphic designer, I love them (truly, I once wrote a whole blog on why Italian typography is so captivating) though sometimes I forget not everyone has the same design fascination and connection that I do.
Typography is a central part of creating and implementing a brand identity (this is a great piece on Medium which talks about how typography can impact your business outlook). Typography is your digital and printed way of communicating, both through words and visually. It connects the illustrative and written side of your brand identity. When you are discovering your new brand identity, and figuring out how to apply it to the everyday within your business, it can be helpful to know a little more about why some letters are the way they are.
So although I know you’re not about to design a typeface anytime soon (or perhaps you’ll be so intrigued that you will!), you certainly may be part of choosing one (particularly if you work with me, cheeky opportunity to share my creative services), I have pulled together a few common elements of letter anatomy, to help you learn a little more about them.
The Apex is the point at the top of a character where the left and right strokes meet. The apex may be sharp, blunt or rounded. Usually the letter A.
An Ascender is a vertical stroke that extends upwards over the x-height. The x-height is the overall height of the collection of letters as capitals, excluding the ascenders/descenders.
The Terminal is the terminating or end of a letter form, either as a serif or sans-serif (other serif terminals include spurs, ears and swatches).
A Counter is the spatial area of a letter that is entirely or partially enclosed by a letter form, often shown in letters D, B or a lowercase a or g.
The main vertical stroke of a capital letter is called a stem. If italicised, they are often referred to as a stroke. Interestingly, the letter S has a ‘spine’ in the curve.
A Crossbar is a horizontal bar that crosses between two other stokes, or over a single vertical stroke.