Take the 2-minute tour ×
Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional graphic designers and non-designers trying to do their own graphic design. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Are all ascender and descender heights typically equal in well-designed typefaces? Does using identical ascenders and descenders increase readability, or is it not an issue at all?

share|improve this question
    
Many typefaces will have differing heights for each individual ascender and descender. There is no hard rule for this. It's whatever makes sense for the particular typeface being designed. –  DA01 Mar 20 '13 at 1:44
add comment

2 Answers

There are different types of descenders. Consider the difference between a descender like the tail of p, the bottom loop of g, and the tail of j. These are three different designs of descender and these will usually have different lengths.

Similarly with ascenders there will be different lengths between straight ones like b, hooks like f, dots like i and the t which is a cross bar.

However, usually letters with the same type of ascender will have it exactly the same height. For instance, the ascenders on b, h, k and l will usually be the same height.

The height of ascenders above the x-height and the height between the descenders and the baseline will usually be similar, especially for similarly designed ascenders and descenders, but there is never a requirement or expectation that these are exactly the same.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Ascenders and descenders usually are of similar size whereas all the descenders are usually smallers than all the ascenders.

You can appreciate this difference when you are typesetting a text with a fixed line spacing and this difference increases the readibility of the single lines.

Consider also, that most of the type information is stored in the top half of the glyph.

I hope this answers to your question, also this two articles helped me a lot:

http://www.tomontheweb2.ca/CMX/4D5E2/

http://www.creativepro.com/article/ups-and-downs-ascenders-and-descenders

share|improve this answer
    
Does that make sense? "Ascenders and descenders usually are of similar size whereas all the descenders are usually smallers than all the ascenders." –  kontur Dec 7 '12 at 11:52
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.