Bits and pieces
are the fiddly bits at the end of some stems, and they have two kinds of quality. They are either slab, wedge or hair. And they are bracketed or unbracketed.
A hair serif is self explanatory. Bodoni has hair serifs, that being a line of minimum thickness. These are unbracketed. As soon as the line gets thicker it becomes a slab serif. A thin slab serif is called fine. A fat one is called heavy. On Egyptian fonts like Rockwell these are unbracketed. On fonts like Times the serifs are called bracketed. More later.
But first, the third kind of serif is a wedge serif, like those in Wide Latin.
So that is the first division on serifs: hair, slab and wedge. The second division is whether they are bracketed or unbracketed.
The brackets can be full brackets, which means that the concave curve runs from the stem right out to the tip of the slab or hair serif, or fine brackets, when the curve has flattened before it gets to the end of the serif, giving a flat horizontal piece at the end.
There are other serifs. You know about the arms on a C or an S. But we also have the barbs, or cat's ears, those sticky out bits on the top of C and S and G, and the beaks - the bigger ones on L and the T and the E. The end of a loop, like the bottom right finish on the C or e, is called a finial. Lastly on the top of the T in Garamond and Perpetua, for example, we have spurs.
are not what you think they are. They are a particular kind of curved stroke. They are not even curved strokes that end. They are certainly not strokes that end in serifs.
The most sensible terminal is a tail (see above). But the part of a C before it hits the arm (see above) is a terminal. Strokes at an edge seem to be eligible for 'terminal status'. The part of an S after the spine and before it hits an arm is a terminal. The ear on a g is a terminal.
A swash, (like those with which, by extending the serifs, ITC ruined Bookman), is a terminal. A loop, as that which wraps round the counter of a Baskerville g, is a terminal. A link, as that which joins the two parts of a g, is sometimes a terminal. You can also have a link on a chain, and a link of sausages.
The curved bit at the bottom of letters like y and j, or the top of an a, is a terminal. In Times, and other serif faces, all three of these tend to end in what is called a tail dot.
The curved bit leading into and out of an italic letter, like n, is called a pothook, or a hooked foot and is also a terminal. As is not Grand Central Station, which is a terminus.
3. Bowls and counters |
5. Around the letter?
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