A brief guide to type jargon
Date: June, 1989
Keywords: DTP desktop publishing font
Text: Some arcane jargon is used in talking about type, some of its origins lost or are just obscure. Here are some definitions: Font -- Strictly speaking, all the characters available in one size and style of type. On the Mac, however, it means the typeface in all sizes. But a font isn't always the right font. Your Mac uses Imagewriter and LaserWriter fonts. It's a long discussion, but trust me -- each has its role and don't mix well. One way to identify Imagewriter fonts is that they usually are named after a city. Point -- Usually a vertical measurement, with 72 points equalling an inch (the same number of pixels per inch as on your monitor). Pica -- Usually a horizontal measurement, with six picas to an inch (and 12 points to a pica). Serif, sans serif -- A serif is a cross stroke at the end of the stroke of a letter. Sans, obviously, means without a serif, such as Helvetica. Times is an example of a serif face. Roman -- Vertical type. Italic -- Type that slants to the right. If the type is sans serif it is called oblique. Another definition is roman type pushed over at an angle. Justified -- Type with an equal amount of space between words and flush left and right. Reverse -- White type on a black or dark background. Usually avoid type with a fine serif in a reverse. Halftone -- A photograph broken up into dots of varied sizes for reproduction. A newspaper uses 65-85 lines per inch while a publication using better quality paper will use more than 100. Line cut -- Artwork which is black and white with no gradation in tone. That's -30-. Origin of that traditional journalistic closing and probably made famous by Walter Winchell, is uncertain. It is thought that telegraphers during the Civil War tapped out ''xxx'' at the end of a transmission. Thus, the -30-. Makes for an interesting anecdote anyway.
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