Take the 2-minute tour ×
Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Typekit offers fonts in a variety of types / suffixes:

  • Std
  • Display
  • Extended
  • Condensed
  • Pro
  • Caption
  • Subhead
  • Wide
  • Black

And often these are combined. For example, https://typekit.com/fonts/kepler-std has a number of these.

Although I can make a good guess / visual check of these,

  • What do each mean?
  • When should each be used, and why?

"Display" is the one that I am particularly unclear on. And feel free to edit the question if there are types I have missed.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted
  • Std - Standard or the base weight/form(s) of the typeface - often includes 1 regular or medium face, 1 bold face, then associated italics - good for any use
  • Display - Generally refers to a typeface designed for use in headlines or display areas. Not widely used for large areas of text due to low readability/legibility at smaller sizes. (These include, but aren't limited to, the typefaces with wild and crazy charters like the ones made out of chopsticks, or bamboo, or chicken wings.)
  • Extended - A widened form of the typeface. Characters are designed to take up more width than the standard character will. Good for emphasis or headlines where you don't want to use a heavier weight, such as bold or black.
  • Condensed - A narrowed form of the typeface. Less width per character. Good for areas where a lot of text is needed and space is limited.
  • Pro - Generally includes several varying faces, more of a type "collection" for a specific typeface. Often you'll get standard, extended, condensed, italics, bold, black, etc with the "pro" version of a font. In addition, pro versions generally contain many, many more OpenType glyphs than other versions of the same font.
  • Caption - A face designed to be used at small sizes, as in captions for photographs. Legibility and readability design are focused on when the type is small.
  • Subhead - This one is rather ambiguous. Each foundry may have a different definition. In general, my perception is a bold or medium weight font designed for headlines primarily.
  • Wide - Similar to extended but often much wider than extended. Many "wide' typefaces begin to cross the border into display faces since they would not function well set as a paragraph.
  • Black - Bolder than bold.

.. additional...

  • Ultra - Bolder than black.
  • Oblique - same as italic
  • Compressed - similar to condensed but with more of a "squished" air about it. What wide is to extended, compressed is to condensed. In some cases compressed and condensed my be used to mean the same thing, it depends upon the foundry.
  • Regular or Normal - a good medium weight to be used for anything. Good for large areas of body text. (see Std above, they are often interchangeable)
  • Medium - similar to regular only slightly bolder. Good for when dot gain may not be an issue or you feel the regular weight is just a bit too light.
  • Book - similar to regular as well only slightly lighter in footprint.
  • News - Sometimes the same as regular, but also sometimes a weight somewhere between regular and book.
  • Light - lighter than Book.
  • Thin - Lighter than light. Most often seen in san serif faces and is often a single thin line for each character stroke.
  • Semibold - A weight between the regular or standard weight and the bold weight for a typeface.
  • Demi - Same as semibold in most cases.
  • Extra bold/Extra Condensed/Extra anything basically a weight or width variation somewhere between the other more standard terms.
  • Dingbat - pictographs for characters rather than letters.
share|improve this answer
    
Exactly what I wanted: thanks! –  Michal Charemza Apr 11 at 10:54

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.