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Weight & Width

Weight & Width

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In this lesson you will learn to distinguish and name different type weights and widths.

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Tutorial

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Hi, everyone. My name is Mario. And I'd like to welcome you to today's lesson on weight and width.

So in this lesson, we're going to learn to distinguish and name different type of weights and widths. So always feel free to stop, fast forward, and rewind at your own pace. And when you're ready to go, let's get started.

So let's begin with type weight. And type what is the thickness of a letter stroke. So you can see here, we have Light, Regular, and Bold. And each one has different weight, or thickness.

So Light is a weight of a typeface that is thinner than Regular. Regular is the normal weight of a typeface. And Bold is going to be a weight of a typeface that is thicker than Regular.

And we can get a better understanding of this, if we look at the line stroke of each one of these typefaces. So here you have that line stroke of each typeface, as I said. And you can really start to see that thickness and the difference in weight. So again, light, regular, and bold.

Now, if we look at another example of the Arial type family, you can see each one has its own defined type weight. And notice here, the names will often correspond to the weight and width of the typeface. So Arial Narrow, Ariel Hebrew, I don't know about that one so much but Arial Black. So terms for type weight and width are added to the type family name to create the full typeface name.

So terms for a type weight vary by type publisher. So you might get terms like the ones that you see here light, medium, heavy, black. But you might also get terms like bold and extra bold, Harry Fat, obese, semi-- and demibold, and so on. And it's also worth noting that even if the term Regular isn't part of a typeface name, that it's typically implied.

And here's a screenshot of the Keynote interface. And you can see, again, the various terms that are being used for that type.

So we've seen what type weight looks like. Well, let's take a look at type width. And expanded is part of a typeface name that describes width. And expanded typefaces take up more space along the baseline. So you can see this text. There's a lot of space between the letters.

And condensed, on the other hand, it's also part of the typeface name that describes width. And condensed typefaces take up less space on the baseline. So you can see that there's a lot less room between the letters here in this example.

And designers can actually use a command called set width in computer graphics applications. And it'll condense or expand type along the baseline. So this is me running Photoshop here. And I'll show an example of what that looks like.

So you can see here is that going from default width. And with that attribute there that I'm moving, around I can expand it and, just as easily, condense it. So quite amazing the marvel of technology. I can really get this squashed.

Now though it's a luxury to be able to do this, it's best practice to buy the expander or condensed members of a type family, as opposed to using the set width command in a computer graphics program. Condensed extended members of a type family are still thoughtfully crafted and designed, so you're going to end up with different results.

Well, everyone, that concludes today's lesson. We'll end with our key terms. Our key terms for today were "type weight", "regular", "light", "bold", "set width", "expanded" and "condensed."

Hope you've enjoyed this lesson with me today. My name is Mario. And I will see you next lesson.

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Type Weight

    The thickness of a letter stroke.

  • Regular

    The normal weight of a typeface.

  • Light

    A weight of a typeface that is thinner than regular.

  • Bold

    A weight of a typeface that is thicker than regular.

  • Set Width

    A command in a computer graphics application that condenses or expands type along the baseline.

  • Expanded

    Part of a typeface name that describes width. Expanded typefaces take up more space along the baseline.

  • Condensed

    Part of a typeface name that describes width. Condensed typefaces take up less space along the baseline.