TYPOGRAPHY 101: Typeface

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The basics are to know, what is typeface. Most people don’t even know there is a difference between a font and a typeface. Let’s take a closer look what typeface, also known as font family, is.


In typography, is a set of one or more fonts each composed of glyphs that share common design features. Each font of a typeface has a specific weight, style, condensation, width, slant, italicization, ornamentation, and designer or foundry (and formerly size, in metal fonts). Designing typeface is called type design. People who work as designers of type are called type designers, but in digital typography, they can be called font developers of font designers.

Every typeface is a collection of glyphs, each of which represents an individual letter, number, punctuation mark, or other symbol. The same glyph may be used for characters from different scripts, e.g. Roman uppercase A looks the same as Cyrillic uppercase А and Greek uppercase alpha. There are typefaces tailored for special applications, such as map-making or astrology and mathematics.

The term typeface is frequently confused with the term font. Before the advent of digital typography and desktop publishing, the two terms had more clearly understood meanings.

The difference between a font and a typeface is the same as that between songs and an album. A font is what you use, a typeface is what you see.

Typographers have developed a comprehensive vocabulary for describing the many aspects of typefaces and typography. Some vocabulary applies only to a subset of all scripts. Serifs, for example, are a purely decorative characteristic of typefaces used for European scripts, whereas the glyphs used in Arabic or East Asian scripts have characteristics (such as stroke width) that may be similar in some respects but cannot reasonably be called serifs and may not be purely decorative.

Style of typafeces:

1. Roman typefaces:

  • Serif
  • Sans serif
  • Script 
  • Mimicry


2. Blackletter typefaces

3. Gaelic typefaces

4. Monospaced typefaces

5. Effect typefaces

6. CJK typefaces

  • Mincho
  • Gothic
  • Maru

7. Display type

Display type refers to the use of type at large sizes, perhaps 30 points or larger. Some typefaces are considered useful solely at display sizes, and are known as display faces

8. Non-character typefaces

  • Ornamental typefaces
  • Symbol typefaces
  • Music typefaces



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