Brand Identity

Do Designers Really Need to Know Typography Terms?

Rahul Woll
Published: April 10, 2024
What's on this page:
What's on this page:

Who uses typography terms? Designing interactive websites with graphics? Awesome. Coding them? Not so much.

8 Typography Terms Every Designer Forgets

Typography terms are important for designers. If you are a designer and working in team of designers then it might be confusing for you. So, better to learn terms that makes your work easy. Interesting let’s get to know.

Term 1


The amount of space between the baseline of two lines of text. CSS wise, this is your line height. It’s recommended to stick to 120% of the type size.

The more words you have in a line, the more leading you will need to maintain a pleasurable reading experience.

Term 2


Loose or tight, tracking is the amount of space between groups of characters. Like leading, best practices are tied to readability.

0.5 The UIUX design community is awesome

0 The UIUX design community is awesome

1.5 The UIUX design community is awesome

Term 3


Easily confused for tracking. Kerning is the space between two characters. Consider a capital character like W which has empty space below the final line, notice the width and cramping tilt vs the capital H in Hello?

Well / Hello

Term 4


Justified type tends to look clean because the start and end of the lines are both aligned to the left and right. However, just because it fits in a box doesn’t make it more readable for users. In fact, because there are less visual line clues it’s hard to digest.

Term 5


Ascender also known as the topline, this line shows where the top of letters such as k and f touch. Wild, but the line can often be higher than the capital line. Mind blown a little? Zoom in and you’ll see the magic.

Note: I Get a Kick Out of Designing Products.

Term 6


More commonly known as the descender, but I prefer beard line. Descenders are the parts of characters that drop below the baseline. Letter such as p, g, and q.

Term 7


Text aligned to the left. In western culture, this compliments the natural way we read. Typically, text is products 90% ragged right. Be sure to use a grid to avoid the text swinging too far. It’s good to have equal padding and margin for readability.

Term 8


Text aligned to the right. When reading left to right, ragged left can often disrupt reading flows. Product wise, ragged left can be applied to drop-downs, buttons, and text in the right of tables and navigation. It’s generally best to use this as a contrast to the majority of text.


If you are curious to know more about typography terms. Stay tuned for more updates on design and development.