Typography 101 – X-Height, Leading, Kerning, Tracking, Ascender, Descender…

  1. X-height (the height of a font’s main body – not including ascenders or descenders)
  2. Leading (the space vertically between lines of text – name comes from the physical piece of lead that used to be used in mechanical printing process to separate lines of text)
  3. Baseline (the line accross the bottom of a font’s x-height – discounting descenders.)
  4. Kerning (the amount a character’s horizontal space encroaches into it’s neighbour.)
  5. Point size (or px size if using pixel based sizes for web.) – (The font size in pixels or points)
  6. Ascenders (parts of a character which ‘ascend’ above it’s x-height – upper staff of a lower case b,d,t etc )
  7. Descenders (parts of a character which ‘descend’ below it’s x-height – lower tail of a g or y etc.)
  8. Tracking (the horizontal space between each character)

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