Monday, August 30, 2010


1.    WEIGHT:  the overall thickness of the stroke, in relation to its height.  (A bold font is “heavier” than a light font.)

2.    WIDTH:  how wide the letterforms are in relation to its height.

3.    STYLE:  refers to three different categories – serif/sans serif, the typefaces historical classification and the visual idiosyncrasies related to its historical context, and the specific form variations that the designer has imposed on the letters.  Typefaces can either be NEUTRAL or STYLIZED.

4.    Type is measured in POINTS.  (The typeface is Helvetica 12pt.)

5.    POINT:  one point equals 1/72 inch or 0.35 millimeters.

6.    PICA:  12 points equal one pica, which is the unit commonly used to measure column widths.  (12p7 equals 12 picas and 7 points.

7.    72 points in one inch.

8.    36 pt. typeface is about ½ inch tall.

9.    6 picas in one inch.

10.  12 points in one pica.

11.  X-HEIGHT:  distance between the baseline and mean line of the typeface.  (A lowercase “x” is the full x-height, which does not measure anything above that height.)

12.  CAP HEIGHT:  height of the capital letter above the baseline.

13.  LEADING:  amount of added vertical spacing between lines of type.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


1.  GRID:  method of putting all the pieces together in a composition to communicate a coherent message.

2.  Designers use the grid as a tool in the thinking process of designing.  The grid benefits the designer by permitting to lay out enormous amounts of information.  Also, the grid allows multiple people to work on the same project or series.  The grid serves as a guide for distributing elements across a format.

3.  MODULAR GRID:  A grid that contains modules (units of space that, when repeated, create columns and rows).

4.  MARGINS:  negative spaces between the format edge and the content, which surround and define the live area where type and images will be arranged.  The proportions of the margins bear some consideration, as they help establish the overall tension within the composition.  Margins can be used to focus attention, serve as a resting place for the eye, or act as an area for subordinate information.

COLUMNS:  vertical alignments of type that create horizontal divisions between the margins.  There can be any number of columns; sometimes they are all the same width, and sometimes they are different widths, corresponding to specific kinds of information.

GRID MODULES:  individual units of space separated by regular intervals that, when repeated across the page format, create columns and rows.

FLOWLINES:  alignments that break the space into horizontal bands.  Flowlines help guide the eye across the format and can be used to impose additional stopping and starting points for text or images.

GUTTER:  inside margins or blank space between two facing pages.

5.  HIERARCHY:  order that allows the viewer to enter the typographic space and navigate it.

6.  TYPOGRAPHIC COLOR:  apparent blackness from a block of text from the result of attempting hierarchy.

7.  Changing the weight, texture or value, and rhythm can create hierarchy.  Also, spatial separation is another option.