A Few Common Font Types

Fonts, typefaces, just what are they? A font is a set of characters including both letters and numbers, in a particular size and style of type. Letters and characters have different looks and a font face or typeface is the name given to describe the particular typesetting. Characteristics can be applied to fonts. For example, a style such as bold or italic can be employed, the size can be adjusted and the color can be changed. But the font remains the same.

You may have heard of serif fonts and sans serif fonts. Think of “serifs” as curlicues, they are the decorative flourishes on the ends of the lines of individual letters. For example, Times New Roman is a serif font.

Sans serif (sans means without) fonts do not have the embellishments on the letters. These fonts are cleaner and starker, without the finishing strokes. Arial and Helvetica are examples of sans serif fonts. Sans serif fonts are commonly used for headlines, attention grabbers and other headings.

What are “True Type” fonts? True type fonts are fonts that display and print the same whether on screen or on paper. What you see is what you get.

Another term you may have heard is the term, “Dingbats“. A font set can contain letters, numbers and special graphical characters such as hearts, diamonds, checkmarks, stars, copyright symbols and more. These graphical characters are referred to as dingbats. You can use dingbats as borders, bullets, checkboxes, and other decorative or practical uses.