I am taking a regular version of a typeface I love and making a light version of it, and I'm wondering:

  • Is the light version just an inset of the regular version?

  • Are there any special considerations I am missing?

This is my first albeit tenuous foray into type design, and while I have experience with and appreciate good typography, I have never actually got my hands dirty in making or altering a type face.

Extra credit question: Am I using the terms correctly here? I understand typeface is the term for the design of type but at what point should I be using the term font?

  • 2
    For your extra credit question: see fontfeed.com/archives/font-or-typeface Short answer: font is what you use, the delivery mechanism (e.g. the collection of computer files). Typeface is what you see, the appearance of letters. E.g. "I love that typeface: what font is it?", "It's the font [-name-]", "And what font is that other typeface?", "That typeface isn't a font, it's hand written". Use "typeface" when you'd use "song" (e.g. "I love that song/typeface..."), and "font" when you'd use "MP3" ("...so I'm going to buy the MP3/font for it"). In many cases it's okay to use either. Jun 27, 2012 at 11:16
  • @user568458 I love the song / mp3 analogy. Jun 27, 2012 at 13:17
  • @user568458 that is bloody brilliant. Jun 27, 2012 at 20:14

1 Answer 1


The short answer is: no. “Light” is not universally just thinner/inset incarnation of “regular”. It might be, but not necessary (if it would be then each “regular” version should be taller than “light”, because top and bottom curves would be moved to the inside too). “Light” version can sport some changes in shape when compared to “regular” (e.g. they can miss “ink traps” present in their thicker counterparts, have more protruded serifs etc.), as long as both “feel”/appear of the same style.

  • 1
    Good answer some also might have more significant variations like one font I have has a "light" version which are dotted letters, a "regular" version which is... regular, and a "bold" version which is actually double lines.
    – Ryan
    Jun 29, 2012 at 10:21
  • @iambriansreed My pleasure! :)
    – thebodzio
    Jun 29, 2012 at 10:53

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