Subscribe to our monthly newsletter

…or, join in the conversation, getting useful tips from other typographic professionals like yourself by participating in our Blog:

Blog Link


View Dave Botma's profile on LinkedIn  



The KernProse Letterform Parts Glossary Chart

Letterforms Glossary Chart ARM
A horizontal stroke
ASCENDER The extended stem of b, d, f, h, k and l


BAR The cross stroke of the e, f, t, A, H and T
BOWL A curved stroke enclosing an area (however, the lower part of the g, which can be either open or closed, is called the “tail”)
COUNTER The area enclosed by a bowl or by the closed tail of a g, or the bar of the A
The extended stem of the p or q and the tails (except in the case of an R)
The small stroke to the right of the bowl of the g
LINK A stroke joining two letters. Also the middle stroke of a g joining the bowl to the tail, and the stroke joining the separated tail of a Q to the bowl
A small cross stroke ending that main stroke. Serifs may be either single (on one side only) or double (on both sides)
SHOULDER The curved stroke springing from the stems of the a, f, h, m, n and r
The small projection, usually pointed, from a stroke or a terminal
STEM A vertical stroke
SWASH A decorative version of a letter with added flourishes or an alternative letterform
TAIL The parts of the letter that fall below the baseline of a g, j, y, J or Q. The term is also used for the diagonal of an R
TERMINAL Stroke endings other than serifs, often bulbous, pointed, or sheared — sometimes cupped or hooked.

Back to top