This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

Translation of typographical terms to web terms

Most of my clients are graphic designers. Like me, they know the correct terms used for typography. This is quite helpful if they are using programs that were created for graphic designers such as Adobe InDesign, etc. Unfortunately, knowing these terms doesn't help when using type for the web.

Here are some common translations from the correct term to the term used in CSS for the web
underline = text-decoration
Heading = H1
Subhead = H2
Body text = paragraph. The web term "body" refers to all of the type on a web page, including headings and subheadings.
Alignment (as in flush left, flush right, etc.) = text-align
Leading = line-height
Kerning (or tracking) = letter-spacing
Small caps = font-variant

This all happened because HTML was not written for graphic designers. It was created to allow people in academia to publish scholarly papers. And as more typographical flexibility is written into HTML and CSS, it must continue to conform to these standard terms. The good news is that you probably can do that thing that you want to do typographically, you just need to find out what they call it.

I strongly recommend to my clients to do what I have been doing for years. Open up Dreamweaver and play with it. Create a goofy page and experiment. Dreamweaver has a wonderful visual interface. Forget what you know!