You are probably familiar with the font. Anyone who has experience working with word software, however little, is definitely familiar with the word font. What about typeface? Do you know what typeface is? You might think that typeface is the same as font. Many times these two words are used interchangeably, intentionally or unintentionally. But it is better to know that there are very subtle differences between these two words that every graphic designer must know. Why? Because choosing the right font and typeface can have a great impact on the readability and emotional impact of the design on the viewer. Therefore, the wrong choice can adversely affect the user experience. In this article, we will examine the differences between typeface and font and the definition of each so that you can use these concepts effectively and professionally.

Typeface definition

A typeface is a set of design features for letters and other characters. In other words, a typeface is a special set of alphabet letters or other characters such as numbers and punctuation marks that have a common design. For example, Helvetica is a well-known typeface. Here are some famous and popular typefaces:

  • Baskerville
  • Helvetica
  • Times New Roman
  • Arial
  • Futura
  • Didot
  • Garamond
  • Rockwell
  • Georgia

Define font

Font actually refers to the weight, style, size and display of a letter. Usually, each typeface contains a number of fonts. For example, consider the Helvetica typeface:

Helvetica 12 point is a font and Helvetica 10 point is a separate font.

The same applies to different weights, for example, Helvetica Bold 14 point is a different font than Helvetica Light 14 point, but their typefaces are the same.

The difference between typeface and font

For a better understanding of typefaces and fonts, consider this example. If you consider the typeface as a kind of clothing, the font can be the characteristics of that clothing.

For example, if we consider the typeface as a shirt, the medium size black shirt is considered a special font of this typeface.

In other words, a typeface includes a wide variety of fonts that all share a common design. Also, font refers to the unique details of typeface characters.

What is the reason for distinguishing face type and font?

The difference between font and typeface is rooted in the history of the printing industry. The word font is derived from the French word “fonte” which means casting in metal.

Printers needed a complete set of metal letters to print a text. These metal letters were kept in a box containing a special font. Each box had two sections: one for uppercase letters and one for lowercase letters.

The working method of these printers was that they put the text together letter by letter, then dipped them in ink and put them on the paper.

The important point was that care should be taken to ensure that all these pieces of letters are from the same font (same shape). It means that the size and other features of the font should be the same in all parts so that the overall shape of the writing does not get confused. The collection of these fonts from the same family was called typeface.

These two concepts have remained since all printers have gone digital.

Font features

Now, let’s take a look at some of the features of a font.


The weight of a font means the thickness of the outline of a letter compared to its height. Typefaces have fonts with different weights. Even some of them may have up to twelve different weights. But normally, a typeface has 4 to 6 weights for its fonts.

The types of weights of a font are as follows:

  • Thin
  • Ultra-light
  • Light
  • Normal
  • Medium
  • Semi-bold
  • Bold
  • Ultra-bold
  • Heavy (Black)
  • Ultra-black


Another important aspect of a font is its composition and size. The size of a font has a significant effect on the readability of text. Therefore, the size of a font is also very important for the user or reader experience. However, some fonts work better at smaller sizes while others are ideal at larger sizes because they are designed that way.

Here are the different sizes of a font:


  • Caption: The smallest size, usually ranging from 4pt to 8pt.
  • Small text: this range is from 8pt to 10pt.
  • Regular: Medium or default size for reading which is between 10pt and 13pt.
  • Subhead: For larger texts, it ranges from 14pt to 18pt.
  • Display: the widest range of sizes, between 19pt and 72pt.
  • Poster: usually more than 72pt
  • The groovy: It ranges in size from 24px to 72px.


When we talk about the style of a font, it means how much the font leans from left to right. The purpose of using italics in writing is to draw the reader’s attention to those words.

Here are the common font styles:

  • Italic
  • Oblique
  • Swash
  • Cursive
  • Slant


Width is a feature that makes the text easier to read. If the font is relatively narrow, the different widths are named as follows:

  • Compressed
  • Condensed
  • Narrow

But if the font is relatively large, it will be named as follows:

  • Wide
  • Extended
  • Expanded


A short sequence at the end of a letter in a particular font is called a serif. In general, fonts can be divided into two parts:

Fonts with serif and without serif, which is called sans serif. (The word “sans” in French means “without”.)

However, there are other types of serifs. As:

  • Slab serif
  • Semi-serif
  • Alternate capitals


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