The Big Ideas
By understanding the underlying message that your choice of text contains, you will become more effective as you design and layout projects containing words and phrases. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but you have to know a thousand words to replace it.
- The Type Size, also called the Cap Height, is the overall height of capital letters in the formation of words.
- The Ascender is the upward tail on letters like h, l, t, b, d, and k.
- The Descender is the downward tail for letters like g, q, and y.
- The Counter is the white space located inside letters like o and p.
- The X Height is the height of the letter, and does not include ascenders or descenders.
- Baselines are the boundary that the lowest part of the letter rests on. Take a look at the y, p, g, p and y letters in the illustration above. The solid line they are resting on is the baseline.
- Kerning is the space located between individual letters of a word.
- Leading is the space between the lines of text.
- Left alignment is default for reading. Center alignment is used for headlines and titles. Right alignment is used for a more professional look (i.e. Business Cards). Justified alignment is reserved for newpaper print and body text for textbooks, and is more difficult to work with.
- Serif type has extensions or strokes on the end of the letters and is easy to read. San-Serif does not have extensions or strokes o the end of the letters and are hevily used for labelling, headlines, and titles.