Former Typophile moderator Zara Vasquez-Evens has written an interesting article on Medium (https://medium.com/@CommandZed/thoughts-on-an-improved-opentype-ui-c6748...), prompted by the recent petition for a better user interface for accessing OpenType features in design software (http://ilovetypography.com/2014/10/22/better-ui-for-better-typography-ad...).

A few selected quotes:


Serif fonts often have lighter strokes on one side, I recall hearing a specific term for this phenomena a while ago but I can't remember what it was. Can anyone unravel this mystery for me?

Best regards,

Hey guys,

So, somebody on Wikipedia has been fairly successfully propagating the label "virtual typefaces" for what I would call digital typefaces or digital fonts. That category has been getting applied to many typefaces, apparently the distinction being that they are *only* available in digital form, and were not phototype or metal typefaces.

So, two related questions:

1) I might argue that every typeface that is available in digital form should also get the same label (whatever that label is). Agree or disagree?

2) I think the label "virtual typeface" is silly. Nobody uses that term that I am aware of, except this one person. The actual link redirects to "computer font." Some possible labels:

  • Computer typeface
  • Digital typeface

What is the name for a glyph which contains a full word?
I am looking for typefaces which contain glyphs that are complete words - like "THE" or "AND".
It's hard to search for these because I don't know the term. And searching for "and glyph" really ain't working.

I am wondering if italic isn’t more a style than small capitals: what italic really is if you need to define it precisely?
In CSS, italic is called a "font-style" such as in the dedicated page on this website. Can we imagine that italic is the same type than a rounded or outline version of a font? If italic is just another font, it stays related to a typeface, such as weights isn't it?
Another result of my research tells that "angle", "weight" and "width" are separated characteristics.
If I need to make a typeface database, should I order fonts like:

Case 1

Where does the term “pi fonts” come from? And who was the first to use or popularize it?

I always assumed it was an odd abbreviation of “pictogram”, but it was never clear because the term is sometimes used to describe any non-alphanumeric/symbol font. If pi does indeed stand for pictogram, that would limit its relevance to a specific subset of symbol fonts – for example, mathematical symbols aren't pictograms.

That doesn't really match up with the kinds of fonts I typically think of when I hear the term “pi” either, which tend to be be more technical and abstract than they are pictorial. Maybe there's a connection to the mathematical concept of pi?

riccard0's picture


I wonder, anyone has any idea where the name “Sackers” comes from?

Hello everyone,

I am trying to find the name/terminology for the highlighted part of the
letterform P in the jpg down bellow. could anybody help? thank you very much.


Indices : Terminology : Family

A typeface family is a set of typefaces released under a common trade name that differ in weight, width, inclination, optical size and character sets, but belong to the same stylistic class because of some common design characteristics such as stroke modulation and treatment of serifs. Helvetica, Times, Palatino, ITC Stone Sans, ITC Stone Serif, ITC Stone Informal and ITC Stone Humanist are all different families.

How Related are Members of Type Families?
Type Terminology: Systems? Suites? Super Families?

Additional Articles:


Indices : Terminology : Typeface

Typeface is a collection of all typographic characters that share the same design characteristics such as weight, width, inclination, optical size, stroke modulation or treatment of serifs. Helvetica Bold is one typeface, Times Roman is another typeface, Times Bold is yet another typeface.

Type Terminology: Systems? Suites? Super Families?


Indices : Terminology : Font

A font ont is a certain physical form in which a typeface with a certain character set is released by a certain vendor under a certain trade name — for example a set of metal type sorts, a digital font in the Type 1 format, a digital font in the OpenType PS format etc. Thus, a font can be said to be one weight, width, and style of a typeface. Times Roman by Linotype in Type 1 format is one font, Times Cyrillic Regular by Linotype in Type 1 format is another font, Times Roman Std by Adobe in OpenType format is another font, Dutch 801 Roman by Bitstream in Type 1 format is another font — all of the same typeface Times Roman.

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