Typeface Vs. Font
so typefaces and fonts. You've heard me say the word typeface probably a 1,000,000 times already. The reason I say typeface and the reason I don't use font for the majority of what I'm saying is because of the fact that a typeface is the overall family that you're talking about. So when I'm talking about Helvetica or Aerial or Gotham or times New Roman, all of those are typefaces. They're not fonds now. Those terms are used interchangeably most of the time with the regular public, and that's that's perfectly OK. But as a designer, you should know that a typeface is something you see. You see the typefaces aerial. What you use is the actual styling of that. So a font is a specific style of a given typeface. So aerial bowled 72 points. That is the font. The typeface is Ariel the typeface family. The rest of it is just information that is applied to the typeface to make it look a certain way. Let me show you what I mean by this. All right, so I'll create a brand new document here. I'll ju...
st do a letter size document you can follow along with me if you want. It doesn't really matter how big or how small you make the document, by the way, just so long as you have a document open and then what I'll do is just click here to add some text. And I'm just type out my name and blow it up. And by the way, the quick way to blow up tax an illustrator is to basically hold down the entire left side of your keyboard and then the greater than or less than sign. So shift option command on the Mac shift all control on the PC, and then the greater than sign to increase for the less than sign to decrease. There's a little quick shortcut for you. All right, so here we have my name. And if I press the letter T to give me the type tool, I can open up the character panel and I can see here that the fought that I'm using is myriad pro at 142 points and the regular wait so myriad pro is the typeface. The rest of this information is the font information. So what I'm looking at here is not a myriad pro font like from the drop down here. That's not a listing of fonts. This is a listing of typefaces. Now. The thing that's confusing here is the fact that Adobe actually refers to these as Fonds. If you look right there at the top, it says, add fonts from type kit. They do this because Font is a more universally accepted and understood term. Most of the time, people will know what the term fought means. I think even, you know, my relatives that Comey, for tech support all the time would know what the word fought means. But it's actually not far. Far is the styling of a specific type face. So all of these that are listed here, these are all the typefaces and some of the examples that we talked about earlier. Like let's take a look at an example of a serif typeface. So let's grab Traa, John Pro. This is a serif typeface, and it's a serif typeface because it has those little tails on the end of each letter. And if we switch this to a san serif typeface, that's really easy. We're just looking at one switch to Ariel, and there's a sand surf. And you can also see the difference between all of the specific aspects of the type that we talked about earlier. So remember earlier I talked about the baseline, this little line that goes right across the bottom of Zoom and so you can see it, This little blue line that's your baseline in Illustrator, you'll notice most of the letters Sit directly on that baseline. However, there are some letters that have curves like this that actually extend past it. Now it doesn't affect the overall X height of that particular letter. Doesn't affect the X height of the typeface either. Those are just examples of things that kind of push the boundaries a little bit. Now, you also notice here that we've got things like an s. So there's the spine of the s noticed the difference between the spine on the S for aerial versus Traa. John Pro. Yeah, that's completely different. Little less of a slope has a little bit more openness at the bottom. And of course, we've got the Sarah's on either end. You can also see here that in this particular typeface, as opposed to Ariel, here's before and after the J actually has a D sender in Traa, John Pro This a little piece of the stroke is a descended descends past the baseline of that type. None of the rest of these letters have a D sender. All the rest of these do have relatively the same X height. Even though this is an all caps typeface, there's still some difference between the lower case and upper case letters. So, for instance, this is a capital J right here. This is a lower case you. So the X height of this is basically as tall. Is this you or the tea or any of those? The cap height would be the J. So if I switch this to a capital, you you can see there that increases to the cap height And if I type the rest of these same thing So this is an interesting typeface because both the lower case and upper case letters are the same basic letter. It's just the height of the letter and the overall size that changes just a little bit. You're gonna run into typefaces like that occasionally, and you're also going to run across typefaces that you know you might not want to use in large blocks of text because of that reason. Remember earlier I talked about the context and how you didn't want to use all caps. Problem pros, Not something you want to use for body copy. The same holds true for another one of my favorite typefaces. Right now it's something called Babe s New, and it's a really cool name. But, um, if you're familiar with a certain streaming service that has movies and TV shows, they used this as their logo fund. And so this is an all caps font. It's great for headlines and things like that, but it's not good for body copy. That's because everything in this is all caps, no matter what. And so these are things that you need to understand as you start to explore typefaces that you're going to use in your projects. That's why I recommend going into an application, playing around with the typefaces, learning and understanding all of the things that go along with them, whether it be which characters have a centers and D senders. What's the overall cap height, X height, that kind of stuff? It really helps for you to sort of decipher all of this information and then easily try to apply that to the project that you're gonna be working on nine times out of 10. When I start a project, I have an idea in my head of what the typeface is gonna be before I get started. And that's just something that's come from years of practice. It's not something that came naturally to me. When I first started using a graphic design software. I was horrible at picking out typefaces like Really bad. And I'm still not to the point where I would consider myself the world's leading expert on It's certainly not I'm not. I'm not that big of a type of file A. Z, they say. So, um, it's very important that you study as much as you can about this because at the end of the day, type is one of the most important aspects of a design project that you're gonna work on. All right, let's talk about classic typesetting versus modern typesetting now. I spoke a little bit earlier about the terms that apply to this that we used to use in classic typesetting, and basically what it was is you would have blocks of text that you would use. So oops, get rid of that X ever again and it's going here and see. I could find the typeface that looks somewhat like letter press. If not, I'll pick one that's very similar, not sinking over from Kit like that wanted. So that's fine. We'll just move to something a little bit more simple. So this it's called neo print. Same kind of thing, a little bit too grungy, but you'll get the idea. So basically, when you had traditional typesetting, you would have a block of text and the blocks would encompass the entire piece of text. Something kind of like this. So every letter would get its own block and it would live on its own block, and the various sizes of those letters would determine the point size of the type that you were setting. So, for instance, this type that we have here is currently set at 115 points, so that would be the size of the individual piece of type that you would have. You would start laying the type out by adding blocks to that. Let me There we go a little bit easier to see, so each one of these pieces of tanks would reside on a block. Now the reason I picked the typeface that I did it because they've got these little grungy outlines. The thing that would happen often times is when you would run these things to the printing press. Ink would kind of get on the outer edges and ends. These things wore down. Sometimes you would have a little bit of overspill on the outside, just something that we had to contend with. And when that happened, you had to upgrade or buy a new piece of type, and that's how you would do it. You didn't buy digital funds back then. You didn't. You didn't purchase those from my fonts dot com. You had to actually purchase pieces of lead type, and you would buy them in different typefaces. You would buy them in different sizes. You would keep them all in this gigantic suitcase looking thing that was called a California job case. And then, as you were planning out your text, you would have an idea of what you wanted to do, and then you would start laying out all the individual pieces of type across a board, and then you would add in a big piece of lead or a big piece of wood to increase the spacing in between the lines that was adding in your letting. You could add spacers in between individual letters to increase the tracking or the turning in between each one. It was a very manual, very mechanical process, and, ah, lot of people that I've talked to. I studied this in college, but I didn't ever have to do it in practice. But the people that I spoke to when I was doing research, what they were amazed at, what we're able to do now, because now things that would take them hours to do. We can literally do in seconds with the click of a button. And I think that that's something that sort of lost on todays generation. I sound sort of like my grandfather when I say that back in my day, Uh, it's just not it's not the same now as it used to be. And I've I'm not one of those people that you know, goes off on tangents like that very often. But it is amazing to see these old school methods, and I've actually done this. I went back toe college, and I actually set type myself just to see how it waas. And it takes a long time just to lay out my name and my email address, which is what I did for a letter press project. It took me 30 45 minutes toe layout, just a few letters because I had to make sure everything was set properly. I had Dad spacing in between for current ing had to make sure I chose the right letting, and then I would step back from it and I would look to make sure everything was exactly like I wanted it. It's a process. It's not something quite as easy as just laying out a couple lines of text in illustrator. So if I was doing this in here, for instance, let's change this to a typeface. It's a little bit easier to see something like, and we'll go back to this one. So my name that right and see how I'm easily able to resize that on the fly that would require me to take the pieces off of the board completely and then reset them using a bigger typeface. Very, very crazy. How that how that used to go down. And then I want to do another line here and type out something like There you go. You get my email address for free, too. So feel free to email me with any questions that you might All right, let's center these up, moving back in. And so now the space that we have in between letters and in between lines of text by default is set by the parameters of the fun. However, the font designer came about doing this. That's what we're stuck with here. That's the default. You can change the default. That's the beautiful thing about digital typefaces is you can increase or decrease just about whatever you want. So, for instance, in this, if I think that there needs to be a little less space in between their Aiken, decrease the letting on the Mac. You would hold on the auction key on the PC. You hold on the old key and then tap the up arrow key on your keyboard until it's in place exactly where you want it, and then you just release your keyboard and there you go so I don't have to worry about, you know? Hey, can I have a bigger piece of lead? I don't I don't have to do that right. It's just a couple of key strokes, which is super easy now, as far as Kern ing. Same basic thing applies here. Let's say, for instance, that this letter here, I'll just I'll screw it up first, you can see. So let's say that something look like that and there's too much space in between the I and the end. Well, I want to get that back to normal. So in order to do that, I just place my cursor in between the characters that I want to Kern. I'm not going to select an entire block of text If I selected the whole block, that would be tracking, not turning, because here, all I want to do is fix this one little piece, so I'll go here, go into the turning portion of this, which is right here on the left, and then just decrease and it's kind of hard to see. So let me go to the window menu, go down to type and bring up the character panel try that one more time, for some reason, is not coming out there. We go of that over. So right in between the I in the end, and then as I track in between, there were kind of see, excuse me as I current in between there. Now it's telling me that I can't do that, so I'm going to use the keyboard shortcut instead. So hold on the option key and then tap the left arrow key to decrease the signs. And you can see here inside of this box that value is changing as I do that. So if I increase tracking goes up, excuse me. Increased turning. It goes up, decreased, turning. It goes down. And so I want to get that right back to zero and then I'll zoom out. Commit and there we go. So as you can see, it's pretty straightforward to adjust all of those a lot quicker than it used to be in the old school way of doing things. If you have the opportunity to visit a printing facility, a place that's like a mom and pop shop that has like old school letter press equipment, not the modern day digital presses, but a riel old Skool printing place. I would recommend going to that place and asking them if you can see how they set type. If they still do it the old way, that would be amazing if they still have the equipment. Asked them if you can see it, because it's amazing what this stuff looks like. If you've never come across a California job case before, go out of your way to try to find one. You'll have a newfound appreciation for all things typography, I assure you.