I have been seeing people and book authors use the word "Type" for so long now but never really thought about what "Type" actually means when compared to Typography and Typeface.

Can anybody please explain what "Type" means? I'm talking about both the noun and the verb versions of it.

  • 2
    Have you looked up their definitions? Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 0:07
  • Please give an example (quote) that we may see this word used in context.
    – Stan
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 14:40
  • @ZachSaucier Yeah. I even have a word doc of all the other terms I studied. I just couldn't figure out the difference until now. Thanks. Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 8:07

3 Answers 3


"Type" in Middle English meant symbol, figure, emblem.

Types are individual letters or characters used for printing, traditionally cast or engraved blocks. Nowadays more commonly known as sorts or type sorts. Type is text printed with such blocks, or imitating its characteristics, such as on a computer screen.

Typography is the art or process of setting (typesetting), arranging and printing type. It is also used to refer to the appearance and style of typeset matter ("I like that typography"). Typography may encompass the actual designing of characters and typefaces, but it's more precise to call that artform type design.

A font is a set of type sorts of unified design: typically an alphabet plus all its accessory characters, of a single style and weight (and a single size, in the case of metal types). e.g. Neue Helvetica 36 Thin Italic.

A typeface is one or more fonts of unified design: it may include fonts of multiple weights, roman/italic, stylistic variants and even different 'optical sizes', used to replicate the subtle design modifications in different sized metal fonts. When many such variants are offered, as in the case of Helvetica, it is often referred to as a type family.

(Answered with a little help from wiktionary and Robert Bringhurst.)

  • Yours is right too, but it won't let me give yours a check mark as well. So I gave you an up vote. Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 8:05

Typography involves the art, study, and practice of setting typographical materials. It allows the visual recording and rendering of human aural communication.

Type is a generic term for text and the way text is treated and referred to in a layout. For example: We'll use an old style formal type to suggest a refined and reliable brand "image."

A Typeface refers to the image made by the type font. For example: Use a larger font to make the headline appear bigger. Fonts can be made of various materials from soft rubber to chrome plated metal

Another way to distinguish the difference is that the type font makes the typeface image in much the same way that a cookie cutter (analogous to the font) is used to cut the cookie (analogous to the typeface.) In short, the type font makes the typeface.

  • Okay a long awaited comment I wanted to make... So last time when I checked this I wanted to say thanks (I was in a rush last time). I figured it might mean text. I just wasn't sure. Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 8:02

to type = to write something specific or to input characters randomly by pressing keys on a typewriter or computer keyboard

type = a class of objects that have a bunch of known and specified common characteristics, often also the name of that class

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