Just like it’s important to learn the anatomy of a human in order to make informed diagnoses, understanding the anatomy of type will enable you to see what is right and wrong in type, use it effectively and appropriately talk about it with other designers. 

Here is a brief overview of 30 anatomical parts of typography that you can begin using now.

1. Aperture 

An aperture is a rounded and mostly enclosed negative space found in letters like "c", "n" and "S" 

2. Axis 

The axis is an imaginary line that runs from the top to the bottom of a letter and bisects both the upper and lower strokes. 


A beak is a triangular appendage found at the end of a stroke on some serif typefaces. 


In digital fonts, the body is an invisible border that defines the padding around each letter. 

Cross Stroke 

Cross strokes run horizontally, cutting through the stems of letters ‘t’ and ‘f’. 


An ear is an embellishment that is most frequently used on the upper right side of a lowercase ‘g’. 


The curve found on letters ‘f’ and ‘j’ is called the hook. 


Joints occur where a stroke meets a stem. 


Legs are the angled strokes found on letters ‘K’ and ‘R’ 


A ligature is a type design element that merges two letters into one, the resulting combination is easier to decipher and more visually appealing.