Tuesday, October 10, 2006

They're typefaces, not fonts.

As this handy item from the AIGA explains, fonts are not the same things as typefaces. Fonts are used to enable the printing of typefaces.

“What font is used on the Absolut Vodka bottles”?

“Can you identify the font used in the new Star Wars movie”?

“Do you recognize the font in the attached PDF“?

I get questions like these daily. I don’t mind them. Fact is, I enjoy the challenge. What I don’t like, however, is the nomenclature. It seems that just about everyone is using the word “font” when they are referring to a typeface.
Yes, that folder of things on your computer's hard drive is filled with fonts. But it's typefaces that you see in your documents, and that's what you should call them. Like everything else about design and typography, once it gets loose to the masses, they get it all wrong.

Don't make me give you the hellbox explanation all over again.

1 comment:

DavĂ­d said...

That's a pedantic thing with me as well. I am always correcting people on that. And it constantly annoys them.