wallpaperfontanatomy

For some time I have tried to get a reliable information about the individual parts of the characters of the alphabet. The anatomy of type if you like. It was not so easy to find online. Still I found some and then some in various books.

The problem however is I did not find any one source I was fully satisfied with. Each one had some names missing which the others had and so on..

I collected all this info together and put in one as complete as I could. A second problem was to find a typeface that included everything. I finally gave up. It’s really hard to squeeze everything in. The ones that seemed to fit the best like Times for instance I didn’t want to use and some I wanted to use didn’t have all the major part names.

I finally decided to use a two beautiful and also free fonts, Tallys and Museo by Jos Buivenga. Some of the definitions I put in are maybe on the borderline, but not seriously I think. Take for instance a look at the crossbar in the ffi-ligature. The name there is Crossbar or Hairline. In this font it’s not quite a hairline but closer to a crossbar. Also the terminal drop on the r. I am taking a little chance there – the definition probably has more of a drop form in mind.

Another little one: Where the definitions are two lines they are read from top down and then to right. This is to keep the definitions in columns and not to spread them directly over each letter. See, like the g in Typography; Loop refers to the g but Drop to next letter, r. I hope it is not too confusing.

Finally: Be my guest and download this Anatomy of Type in the form of a wallpaper or desktop picture which you can keep and use on your computer. Free, of course. I trust that you tell everyone where you got it.

You can download it here: Font Anatomy Wallpaper

Creative Commons License
Anatomy of Type by Sigurdur Armannsson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://font.is/wallpaper/FontAnatomyWallpaper1920x1200.jpg.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://font.is/wallpaper-font-anatomy/.

104 Comments

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  • Great piece of information design. I’ve only recently started seriously thinking about type, so having this wallpaper to glance at will certainly help me learn the concepts of type. Thanks man.

    Cheers from a Norwegian. ^^

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  • A few comments that didn’t make is over when I moved the site:

    Thomas Corthals: Great wallpaper! But the word “Drop” seems to be misplaced. Is it available in other resolutions as well?

    My reply: Hi Thomas.

    What other resolution do you have in mind? I could make some. You can mail me directly: sigurarm@islenska.is

    The Drop: There are a few others who are “a bit” out of place. It’s the grid which could have been finer. I am going to open this up again and see if I can make it better. (the Drop belongs to the “r”. And “tittle” in the bottom row belongs to the i. The idea was that if the word was below it belonged either to a lower part of the glyph or to the next one.)

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  • This is a great idea, really rather cool.

    I just wanted to mention that I feel it just needs a small amount of tweaking with the ‘labels’. On initial glances, the labeling seems a bit off. Now I know you have mention this in your post, and I can see where things are, but not everyone will read the ‘about’.

    I think if you can ‘tweak’ the labeling, then it will become instantly clear for those that are just starting out on their type travels.

    But as I said, this is an awesome idea and I love the actual design.

    Graham

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  • @Graham Smith:

    Thanks Graham. Thanks for the comment. I agree that the labels are a little offset. Guess I tried too hard to maintain the original grid.

    After my vacation I am going to make a few variations because this is quite popular and people are also asking for higher resolution. In three weeks – not later 😀

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  • Very interesting post. Just a comment, the “Follow me” tab on the right side has a broken link.

  • Love it, but there is a typo in the poster:

    ‘Descretionary Ligature’

    should be

    ‘Discretionary Ligature’

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  • Nice work!!!
    It would be awesome to get a pdf / vector-format for a print, is that possible?

  • @Nihil: I am trying to find time to do a version 2 of this and in more sizes etc. I will consider your request.

  • Hi, Sig­urður. I appreciate your generosity, but to have the file in Wikimedia projects it needs to be explicitly acknowledged as under a free license or in the public domain.

    A simple free license you may put it in is Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY): anyone can reproduce and modify the work as long as they credit you as the original author. Do you think that’d work for you?

    In the meantime, I urge you to change the line “Copyright © 2004–2009. All rights reserved.” in font.is to a free license or at least add a note stating that the images are under a free license (CC-BY or others), so that permission explicit doesn’t need to be granted each time someone likes your work and wants to reuse or remix it 🙂

    Btw, I’m very much looking forward to the version 2 of this 😀

  • @Waldir

    Ok. No problem on my behalf. Just need a little time to check this out.

    on font.is Copyright: This comes with the Modern Clix theme I am using. I should add a line that explains further like you suggest.

    I’ll check this out soon as I can.

  • @admin: “Just need a lit­tle time to check this out.”

    Sure, let me know once you have it sorted out. I’ll be looking forward to add this image to the category at Wikimedia Commons I linked to previously 🙂 It sure will be of great help to anyone willing to learn typography terminology.

  • i like your work, i would like to translate it to spanish if you let me … you can publish it in you web page

  • @Humberto

    By all means. I’ll put it in and put you in the credit list for the translation. It got to be good 😀

  • @admin
    that’s a yes?.
    if it is… i’m wondering if you can send me the source files to make me easier the translation =/
    …Greetings

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