Typefaces are letters that are physical objects. Font is traditionally the manifestation of a typeface. Typeface is the actual design of a text design. Originally text would be printed on a leadpress or a letter press printing. Below is a few pictures of a typepress letters made from lead.

On typepress machines they would have wooden trays of all the letters, capitals and punctuation. So to have different fonts there would be different trays. Below is a picture of how the trays would be held. Each letter could be broken down as the following.

Type foundrys will design their own typeface and will play around with tracking, leading and kerning.

Tracking – is the space between letters and words horizontally in equal amounts

Leading – is the space between lines on a vertical plane in an equal amount

Kerning – is space between letters to correct un-natural gaps

Another thing the type foundrys need to consider what type they wish to create. They could create a serif type or a san serif type. Serif type is a typeface with curls or ‘bits’ on the end of the letter, see times new roman example below. San Serif is a typeface without, see arial example below.

One other way of amending a typeface is changing it to one of the following, see below for a few examples:

  • Roman – basic, book or regular
  • Italic – slanted type
  • Boldface – wider stroke
  • Light/ Thin – thin stroke
  • Condensed – narrower
  • Extended – wider

We can also break down the letter into different parts, see below for a break down.