The language of type

The terms ‘font’ and ‘typeface’ are often used interchangeably these days. Strictly speaking, a font is defined as a complete set in one size of all the letters of the alphabet, complete with associated ligatures (joined letters), numerals, punctuation marks and any other signs and symbols (Fig 4.5), collectively called ‘sorts’ (hence the expression ‘out of sorts’). The word ‘font’, or ‘fount’ as it used to be spelt in Europe, derives from ‘found’, as in type foundry, and reminds us of the days when typesetting involved molten metal-type cast from moulds.

‘Typeface’, often shortened to ‘face’, is the name given to the look and design of the alphabet and its associated marks and symbols. Every typeface has a name. This can ...

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