Glossary of Terms
Like any industry, ours uses a variety of terms. If you want to find out what they mean, you are in the right place! Simply click on a letter to see its list of terms. If the term you are looking for isn't listed in our glossary feel free to contact us so that we may help you as well as add it to our list.
In typography, a descender is the portion of a letter in a Latin-derived alphabet that extends below the base line of a font.
For example, in the letter y, the descender would be the "tail," or the portion of the diagonal line which lies below the v created by the two lines converging.
In most fonts, descenders are reserved for lowercase characters such as g, p, and y. Some fonts, however, also use descenders for some numerals (typically 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9). Such numerals are called old-style numerals. Some italic fonts, such as Computer Modern italic, put a descender on the numeral 4 but not on any other numerals. Such fonts are not considered old-style. Some fonts also use descenders for the tails on a few uppercase letters such as J and Q.