- The most common method used to measure type is the point system, which dates back to the eighteenth century. One point is 1/72 inch. 12 points make one pica, a unit used to measure column widths. Type sizes can also be measured in inches, millimeters, or pixels.
- Leading describes the vertical space between each line of type. It’s called this because strips of lead were originally used to separate lines of type in the days of metal typesetting.
- Kerning describes the act of adjusting the space between characters to create a harmonious pairing. For example, where an uppercase ‘A’ meets an uppercase ‘V’, their diagonal strokes are usually kerned so that the top left of the ‘V’ sits above the bottom right of the ‘A’
Hierarchy and scale
- If all type was the same size, then it would be difficult to know which was the most important information on the page. In order to guide the reader, then, headings are usually large, sub-headings are smaller, and body type is smaller still.
- Size is not the only way to define hierarchy – it can also be achieved with colour, spacing and weight.
- Serif fonts – Have ticks on the end such as Times New Roman
- Sans-serif – Fonts without the ticks such as Arial & Helvetica.