What is the difference between ‘font’ and ‘typeface’? In basic terms, the typeface is the family name for the individual specific sets of fonts. Take for example Helvetica. Helvetica is the typeface and Helvetica Bold, Helvetica Italic, Helvetica Black are all fonts within the Helvetica family. Historically, this distinction was more evident as typesetters had a master set of Helvetica that included all the little subsets of blocks that were variations in terms of size and weight.

Today, as fonts have evolved from little blocks to digital files, the terminology is not as clearly defined to those that do not know the history of typography. And even though the laborious process of setting type has completely disappeared for the majority, it is still considered an art form for those designers that work with typography every day. We know that typography is a vital key to successful design and while anyone can set type on a computer, there are those of us that revel in the techniques and processes of successfully formatting type for design.

Here’s a great resource for a deeper dive into Explorations in Typography!


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