Why call it "counter"?

What is the thinking behind the name "counter" in type anatomy?

I'm recently pondering over the translation of some typography glossary. We all use "counter" to describe the space enclosed or half enclosed in a letter, but how did this name come into being?

Simply, which meaning of the word "counter" did they employ to refer to that part of the letter? Some people just relate the image of a cashier counter to this meaning but I don't think it fits...

(Sorry if this is a stupid question, I'm not a native speaker of English language. If someone can even provide some historical reference it would be much appreciated.)


Problem with bowls/counters


Hi everybody

this is my first spot and I am new to the forum. I am designing a typeface in Fontlab. I export the font and it looks great both in Fontlab and in Suitcase Fusion. But when I try and use it in Illustrator, when I zoom out the counters and bowls look weird, as if they are a bit offset upwards or downwards.

this image shows the screen in illustrator at 33% zoom. The top one is the written and the bottom one outlined.

this image shows the screen at 100%. Both look right.

Can anyone help me on this?

Thanks in advance!