Books and Printing and Mormons. Part 2.

Type is a character you put on a page via a sort. A sort is a piece of lead you can use to put a type character on a page by inking it first and then pressing it onto the page. See part 1 for the meaning of page. “Type” gets used as a modifier in all sorts of ways (ok that was a bad one). Like, type setter, designer, cutter, or type foundry.

A font is a set of characters one can emboss on pieces of lead, say, to create “typeface.” The term font has changed somewhat over the years, especially since computers became a part of the printing industry. In the old days, a font included upper and lower case letters, punctuation symbols, perhaps small cap letters, numbers, and ligatures plus some special symbols like currency symbols and so on. A ligature is a combination of letters that form a single piece of type, like æ or Œ. Several related fonts maybe grouped in a single family, such as italic and standard fonts.

The size of a font is expressed in points (72.27 points is an inch). Different letters in a font have different sizes of course, like A and a (bold font used here). So the size usually matches the tallest letter in the font. The computer savvy among readers know about font sizes in relative terms and that a 3pt font is much smaller than a 12pt font. For many years, the point value was expressed by curious and little used terms. For example, 5pt font is named Pearl. 9pt is Bourgeois. 12pt, Pica. 14pt, English.

Next, more font stuff.

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