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Article: Basic Lettering Terminology

Basic Lettering Terminology

Okay okay, I know not all lettering artists care about lettering terms, BUT I think it’s so important for you as a lettering artist to have at least a basic understanding of some of the common terms so you’re able to communicate with others (or clients) about your craft.



Here is my basic list of the ones I think are most important:

Baseline: The line that all letters sit and start on.

X-height: The space between the baseline and waistline. Most lowercase letters fit within the space. (The exceptions: “r” and “s”).

Upstroke: The thin strokes that are drawn up.

Downstroke: The thick strokes that are drawn down (also called shade).

Ascender: A stroke that goes above the x-height to the ascender line (like the stem of the “t”)

Descender: A stroke that goes below the x-height to the descender line (like the loop on the ‘j’)

Are any of these terms new to you? How do you feel about knowing basic terminology, important or not so much?

Lettering Terminology Basics For Beginning Lettering Artists

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