What are Fonts? What is Font Family? Types of Fonts and how they work

Fonts make possible the text of the blog you are reading and the text that appears on your computer screen, whatever the application and OS. Without them, we wouldn’t have a post to make on the blog or anywhere. Let’s take a look at how about Fonts, learn about Font Family, Types of Fonts, and how they work in Windows.

What are the Fonts? What is Font Family? Types of Fonts and how they work

What are the Fonts?

Fonts are a set of glyphs. A glyph is a design or graphical shape given to characters, letters, numbers, symbols, ideograms, and punctuation marks. You can also say that a font is a collection of typefaces along with characteristics like size, pitch, and spacing along with the rasters for rendering the text. So now you must be thinking of two things, “rasters” and “typeface.”

  • Rasters: A geometric data set with values assigned to a collection of pixels or dots.
  • Typeface: Its the primary aspect of the font. Its is a set of characters with a particular style, which means 8-point Caslon is one font, and 10-point Caslon is another, but its same for the typeface. You modify typeface with various techniques to make different fonts.

Fonts Font Family Types

What is the Font Family?

A font family is a group of fonts that exhibit similarities in design and that are to be used together. For example, Arial is the font, whereas Arial Italic and Arial Bold are fonts in the Arial family.

Types of Font Formats

Formats can classify font files as in the following:

1] Bitmap Fonts: These consist of a matrix of pixels representing glyphs. They are used for printing or screen display. Bitmap screen fonts are used on Linux console, windows recovery screen, and text editors where there is a lack of scalability. They are mostly device-dependent.

2] Vector Graphics Fonts: Vector graphics define the shape and or outline of a font geometrically. A font in this format contains a collection of vector images, geometrical formulas that are used to represent images in computer graphics so that they can be stretched and resized. Postscript and TrueType are popular “languages” for defining such “scalable” fonts.

3] PostScript Fonts: For electronic and desktop publishing, PostScript or page description, and programming language is used. When the need for a common standard to integrate the GUI between the First Macintosh and laser printers arose. Adobe Systems came out with scalable Type 1 fonts in a postscript, which would render font for both desktop and printers.

4] TrueType Fonts: These were designed and developed by Apple and are now used both by both Apple and Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. The true type font that appears on the screen or paper contains their algorithm for the conversion of text into pixels.

Related: How to create fonts with your handwriting | How to Install Fonts in Windows 10

How do Fonts work with Applications?

I was exploring fonts a little more, and then I came to knew how vital it is. I would love to write more about it, but things will get complicated. So I would add a few lines on how it works in real-time with the application and then give a link at the end where you can explore more.

Every font file has information in the form of numerical data assigned to each character. Since variations can be applied to fonts, it would become difficult to assign a number to every aspect. So standards such as Unicode, where each character has a unique number on any platform, come into the picture.

For a particular font, a table is processed or computed in which information about what glyph to use for a specific code of the character. These tables vary according to computing platform/mapping from Unicode. The application will render the respective glyph from the index according to text, and the corresponding character is displayed.

As you can see, there’s a lot more to be explored about fonts- a delightful place to start with is at Wikipedia Typeface


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