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Typeface

In typography, a typeface consists of a co-ordinated set of glyphs or characters, designed with stylistic unity. A typeface usually comprises an alphabet of letters, numerals, and punctuation marks. A typeface may also include ideograms and symbols, or consist entirely of them, for example, mathematical or map-making symbols.

In metal type, the word font denoted a complete typeface in one particular size and weight—light, book, bold, black—and one variant—roman (vertical) italic or oblique. In digital typography the font is the computer file that stores the vector paths, before they are rendered on a screen or a page. Vector-based digital type outlines have no reproduction size limit. Some applications can synthesize additional weights or orientations of a font from a single variant, but these are considered typographically illegitimate, as human discretion is required to make sound aesthetic decisions.

A font family is a group of related fonts which vary only in weight, orientation, width, etc, but not design. For example, Times is a font family, whereas Times Roman, Times Italic and Times Bold are individual fonts making up the Times family. Font families typically contain several fonts, though some, such as Helvetica, may consist of dozens of fonts. Helvetica, Century Schoolbook, and Courier are examples of three widely distributed typefaces.

The art of designing typefaces is called type design, and the people who design them are called type designers.






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