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, the x-height or corpus size refers to the height of the lowercase letters in a font. Typically, this is the height of the letter x in the font (which is where the terminology came from), as well as the a, c, e, m, n, o, r, s, u, v, w, and z. However, in modern typography, the x-height is simply a design characteristic of the font, and while an x is usually exactly one x-height in height, this is not always the case.
Letters whose height is greater than the x-height either have descenders which extend below the base line, such as y, g, q, and p, or have ascenders which extend above the x-height, such as l, k, b, and d. The ratio of the x-height to the body height is one of the major characteristics that defines the appearance of a font.
The x-height of a given font is called one ex in that font, similarly to the way the width of the uppercase M is called one em.