Today we are talking typography and I’m so excited!
Many of you probably had an anatomy class in school where you cut up a stinky frog. 🐸 Well today is a different kind of anatomy lesson—parts of letters! Yep, it’s true! Each small part of letterforms has a name and I’m sharing a few of them today. You may never look at type the same way!
But, before that, let’s look at the imaginary lines that letters sit on!
Cap height: The distance from the baseline to the top of the capital letter.
X-height: Located in between the baseline and the cap height, it’s the height of the body of the lowercase x. Not all lowercase letters are the exact same height.
Baseline: The line where the letters sit.
Now for some type anatomy!
Desender: The longest point on a letter that falls beyond the baseline.
Ascender: The part of a letter that extends above the font’s x-height.
Counter: The empty space in the middle of a letter.
Cross bar: The bar that goes across the inside of the letter and connects one side to another.
Spine: The curvy body of the letter ‘s’.
Stem: The base of a letter, like the stem of a flower.
Bowl: The curved part of the character that encloses the curved part of the letter.
Loop: The bottom of a two-story g.
Tail: A trailing/descending outstroke as in j y J Q and R.
Eye: The closed counter in a lowercase ‘e’.
Ear: The very short stroke at the top of a g.