The ABCs of Fonts and Typefaces (JF)

The terms font and typeface are often used interchangeably, but they don't mean the same thing.

A typeface is a work of art—a set of letters, numerals, symbols, and punctuation marks that share a common design style and are meant to be used together. Times Roman is a typeface. What you see on a printed page is type set in a particular typeface.

A font is a piece of software that describes to a computer how it should draw the letters of a particular typeface. In other words, a font is the means for getting the image of a typeface onto the page (or screen, or whatever). You use a Times Roman font to create Times Roman type.

When you see a printed page, then, you can ask “What typeface is that?” or “What font ...

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