Type Glossary
Beak

Beak

A sharp spur, found particularly at the top of letters in some 20th centry Romans. Definition: A beak is a type of decorative stroke at the end of the arm of a letter, connected to the arm by the terminal. Similar to a spur or serif, it is usually more pronounced.
Bilateral Serifs

Bilateral Serifs

A serif extending to both sides of a main stroke. They are reflexive.
Body Height

Body Height

The complete area covered by all of the characters in a font. In typography, the body height refers to the distance between the top of the tallest letterform to the bottom of the lowest one.
Bowl

Bowl

The fully closed, rounded part of a letter. Definition: In typography, the curved part of the character that encloses the circular or curved parts (counter) of some letters such as d, b, o, D, and B is the bowl. Some sources call any parts of a letter enclosing a space a bowl, including both parts...
Bracket

Bracket

A curved or wedge-like connection between the stem and serif of some fonts. Not all serifs are bracketed serifs. Definition: The bracket is a curved or wedge-like connection between the stem and serif of some fonts. Not all serifs are bracketed serifs. Brackets can have different shapes with deep or gentle curves. Brackets may taper...
Cap Height

Cap Height

The height of a capital letter measured from the baseline. In typography, cap height refers to the height of a capital letter above the baseline for a particular typeface. It specifically refers to the height of capital letters that are flat—such as H or I—as opposed to round letters such as O, or pointed letters...
Cap Line

Cap Line

A line marking the height of uppercase letters within a font.
Counter

Counter

The open space in a fully or partly closed area within a letter. Definition: In typography, the enclosed or partially enclosed circular or curved negative space (white space) of some letters such as d, o, and s is the counter. The term counter may sometimes be used to refer only to closed space, while partially...
Cross Stroke

Cross Stroke

A horizontal stroke that intersects the stem of a lowercase t or f. Definition: The horizontal stroke across the stem of a lowercase t or f is a cross stroke. Although often used interchangeably, the cross stroke differs from an arm and a crossbar because it intersects/crosses over the stem. The varying positioning, thickness, and...
Crossbar

Crossbar

The horizontal stroke in letters. Also known as a Bar. Definition: The (usually) horizontal stroke across the middle of uppercase A and H is a crossbar. The horizontal or sloping stroke enclosing the bottom of the eye of an e is also a crossbar. Although often used interchangeably, the crossbar differs from an arm and...
Crotch

Crotch

An acute, inside angle where two strokes meet.
Descender

Descender

The part of the letters that extends below the baseline. Definition: The portion of some lowercase letters, such as g and y, that extends or descends below the baseline is the descender. The length and shape of the descender can affect readability of lines of type and is an identifying factor for some typefaces. The...