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Milton Glaser

Anatomy of type

Anatomy of type.doc
Microsoft Word document [24.5 KB]

Activity 1 - Study the images, information and first presentation on this page and then complete the task below

Apply knowledge Task:


Using Power Point write your name using two different fonts in 100 point type

2 points


Now using the arrow tools and adding text boxes identify as many elements of each letter as you can. (Check the image and diagrams found below to help you)

10 points

  • Aperture Aperture

    Opening at the end of an open counter.

  • Arm Arm

    A horizontal stroke not connected on one or both ends.

  • Ascender Ascender

    An upward vertical stroke found on lowercase letters that extends above the typeface’s x-height.

  • Baseline Baseline

    The invisible line where letters sit.

  • Bowl Bowl

    A curved stroke that encloses a letter’s counter.

  • Counter Counter

    Fully or partially enclosed space within a letter.

  • Crossbar Crossbar

    A horizontal stroke.

  • Descender Descender

    A downward vertical stroke found on lowercase letters that extends below the baseline.

  • Diagonal Stroke Diagonal Stroke

    An angled stroke.

  • Ear Ear

    A small stroke projecting from the upper right bowl of some lowercase g’s.

  • Finial Finial

    A tapered or curved end.

  • Hairline Hairline

    The thin strokes of a serif typeface.

  • Ligature Ligature

    Two or more letters are joined together to form one glyph.

  • Link Link

    A stroke that connects the top and bottom bowls of lowercase double-story g’s.

  • Loop Loop

    The enclosed or partially enclosed counter below the baseline of a double-story g.

  • Lowercase Lowercase

    The smaller form of letters in a typeface.

  • Serif Serif

    “Feet” or non-structural details at the ends of some strokes.

  • Shoulder Shoulder

    A curved stroke originating from a stem.

  • Small Caps Small Caps

    Uppercase characters that appear as a smaller size than the capital height of a typeface. Short for “small capitals”.

  • Spine Spine

    The main curved stroke for a capital and lowercase s.

  • Spur Spur

    A small projection from a curved stroke.

  • Stem Stem

    Primary vertical stroke.

  • Tail Tail

    A descending stroke, often decorative.

  • Terminal Terminal

    The end of a stroke that lacks a serif.

  • Uppercase Uppercase

    A letter or group of letters of the size and form generally used to begin sentences and proper nouns. Also known as “capital letters”.

  • x-height x-height

    The height of the main body of a lowercase letter.

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Activity 2 - Compare your work with the person next to you, discuss any differneces in the names you used to label your type

Activity 3 - Answer the questions below using full sentences, give examples where possible



Describe point size in your own words.

3 points


Explain what ascenders and descenders are.

4 points



Describe the 'X height' of text

3 points

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© Julian Kupper