Since the majority of written words are now produced in one digital form or another, fonts and typefaces have become much more important than they used to be. And to the chagrin of graphic designers and generally nerdy people everywhere, those terms are often used interchangeably. It doesn't help that the technical terms for these tools, which first originated in the world of conventional paper publishing and printing presses, have been somewhat confused in the world of digital design and publishing. Let's set the record straight, shall we? Typeface: The Name of the Stylized Glyphs The word "typeface" historically refers specifically to the shape and style of the letters, organized into a set based on the alphabet, numbers, and punctuation needed to completely express language. So, the collection of letter shapes that we know of as "Arial" or "Times New Roman" is called a typeface. Font: The Specific Tool (or File) That Contains a Typeface In the original, movable type publishing sense, a "font" was a collection of metal casts that contained letters and symbols in specific sizes—all based on the design of the typeface. To be even more precise, a specific font was a collection of glyphs in a… Read full this story
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