Some lowercase Latin letters have parts that go over/under the text line: compare w with k and j.

The k has an upper part, and the j has a lower one. Do these parts have a name?


In typography:

. The ‘Baseline’ is the (usually imaginary) line that most of a documents text/characters are sitting on.

. The ‘Capline’ is the (usually imaginary) line that marks the top of capital letters as well as the top of some lower case ascenders.

. The ‘X height’ is the (usually imaginary) line that marks the height part of the lower case letters disregarding the ascenders.

SO -

. Ascenders : part of a lower case letter that rises above the X-Height.

. Descenders : part of a letter that extends below the baseline.

I used the link provided by Billy Kerr for help with definitions : https://www.canva.com/learn/typography-terms/

Hopefully this is a helpful summation of a few terms and specifically ascenders / descenders in typography.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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