Definition of Typography

Definition of Typography. What is typography, and what factors determine the personality of a typographical character?

(Common misspelled as: typegraphy, typeography)

Typography refers to the design and use of typefaces. It also refers to the layout of letterforms; designers play with different arrangements and features to create the desired emotive effects.

Typography Fonts

What defines a typeface? To make money with successful ad campaigns, you must understand the power of typography and the broad range of emotions typefaces can evoke. Here are the most important factors that determine the personality of a typographical character:


Also known as its face, the typeface is the printable part of the character. This is usually seen as the shape of the character.


The slant is the angle of the character relative to the baseline. This can be straight, leaning to the left, or leaning to the right.


Also known as the weight, this is the variation in the width of the lines that make up a character: in Adobe Photoshop, you would probably have come across the following styles: extra light, light, book, medium, bold, extra bold, heavy.


This is the relative width of the characters, and can be regular, condensed or extended.


The distinctive outline of each letter is formed by the contrast between the downstroke and the upstroke.


This indicates the way the strokes end on the baseline of a letter. There are four main families of characters – those without serifs (Antique characters), those with a rectangular serifs (Egyptian characters), those with a crisp, horizontal serif (Didot characters), and those with strokes that end in a slanted, wedge-shaped serif (Elzevir characters).

Definition of Typography

For an extended discussion of typography styles and typography examples, see Examples of Typography. Also see Typography Graphic Design for ideas and inspiration.

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