Saturday, April 27, 2019

A to Z Challenge - X for X-height

Theme - Journalism Jargons
This again is a typography term that is used in journalism.

It refers to the height of the small letter 'x' for a particular font for a particular point size.

Some letters have ascenders, like b, d, l, t etc.; and some have descenders, like g, j, p, y etc. The x-height does not include the space occupied by the ascenders and the descenders.

When you include the total height of a letter, including the ascender and the descender, it is called the point size.

Typography Line Terms

Max Naylor [Public domain]
In typography, it's the x-height that is considered while deciding the readability and the amount of space taken by the text. The larger the x-height, better the readability but more the space occupied; and smaller the x-height, more text in the given space but less readable the text.

(This post is a part of the "Blogging from A to Z Challenge April 2019".)


  1. Ah, the printing stuff. My grandfather was a printer. I think he'd be sad I don't know this stuff.

  2. I'm glad you're writing all these informative posts about typography. I wonder how many journalists or even designers are as knowledgeable about it nowadays? (I did x-height and x-acto knife back in 2015 when my theme for the Challenge was A Printer's Alphabet.) Nearly there: This will be a good collection when you're done! Josna

  3. Hi Pradeep ... interesting I didn't know that ... but I'm going to be whizzing through the others ... and perhaps popping over to Josna's to see their Printer's Alphabet - clever topics - cheers Hilary

  4. Hi Liz - Glad to know that your grand father was a printer.
    Ah, that's ok, we wouldn't know many terms that they were familiar with.

    Hi Josna - Thanks. These days on the computers and mobile phones many formating and styles are automated. So users don't need to know many aspects of typography. A flipside of the modern era.
    I shall check out your A Printer's Alphabet.

    Hi Hilary - Thanks.