Paratype Typographic Glossary

H/J (Hyphenation & Justification)

Hyphenation and justification; the determination of line breaks and, if allowed or needed, hyphenation points within words. Also Hand j. Typesetting abbreviation for hyphenation and justification.


The thinnest part of a letter other than the serif. Joins are frequently hairlines. Also, a fine line or rule, the thinnest that can be reproduced in printing.


Simplified form of uncial writing. Half-uncial appeared approximately in the 6th century as a combination of uncial and Rioman cursive lettershapes. An embrio form of lowercase with extenders.

Half-Ustav (Poluustav)

A kind of Cyrillic book handwriting, that is known from the 14th century. Half-Ustav was written faster than Ustav and took its place. Half-Ustav had U&lc, a lot of ligatures and diacritics. Half-Ustav x-height was small with long extenders, stems were a little curved, without serifs. The first Moscow printed dated book “Apostle” published in 1564 was set in type based on Half-Ustav handwriting. Its type was created by Moscow printers Ivan Fyodorov and Pyotr Mstislavets. After Peter the Great type reforms of the beginning of the 18th century Half-Ustav fonts was used only in the church books. A number of new Cyrillic fonts were developed in the 19th and 20th centuries based on Half-Ustav.

Handwriting (Script)

(1) Handwriting, as distinguished from printing, has come to refer to the form of writing peculiar to each person. Individuality in handwriting occurs among members of the same family as well as among classmates who are taught the same system of writing by the same teacher. This individualization apparently begins very early in life, when a preschool child is still scribbling and drawing. The teaching of writing normally proceeds in stages. First, children are taught what is called manuscript writing. This is more like printing. Both capital letters and small letters are formed individually and are not run together. The characters are written vertically rather than slantwise. Many letters are made of several individual strokes of the pen. After manuscript writing has been mastered, pupils are taught cursive writing. This term is what many people mean when they use the term handwriting and script. In cursive the letters of a word are written in a continuous motion without lifting the pen from the paper. Thus all the letters of a word are joined. Such writing ordinarily slants to the right, and several of the letters, such as f and s, look very little like the printed or manuscript forms. Generally speaking, manuscript writing is easier to learn and to read, while cursive has the advantage of greater speed in composition. A compromise between manuscript and cursive called joined manuscript is sometimes taught. The letter forms are those of ordinary unjoined manuscript, but many of them (such as m and t) are given “tails” that connect them with the following letters. Joined manuscript may be used to make the transition between manuscript and cursive, or it may be taught as a regular form of handwriting. There is also a very artistic, stylized kind of writing called calligraphy, which is used for decorative manuscripts.
(2) A class of decorative fonts that imitate somebody’s handwriting or calligraphic style, with the exceptions of Blackletters and Old Slavonian fonts that refer to isolate groups. Handwriting fonts are divided depending on the writing tools into flat nib pen, pointed pen, ball pen, brush etc. Besides all the handwriting fonts may be connected and disconnected. The intermediate forms with one-side connecting letters are possible too.
See also Scripts in Classification section.

Headline font

A font that has been designed to look good at large point sizes for use in headlines. Headline fonts generally do not contain a complete set of characters since they do not require a full set of special symbols and punctuation. In mechanical composition systems, type above 14 pt.


One of the writing systems. Its characters (hieroglyphs) are the Ideograms combined withdeterminative characters indicating its phonetic value or general category. Modern Chinese writing system is hieroglyphic as well as writing systems of the Ancient Egypt, Sumerian cuneiforms and Ancient American ideograms.

Hindu-Arabic numerals

see Arabic numerals


Information embedded into font to enhance the appearance of characters printed or imaged at low resolutions (72–600 dpi). ATM and TrueType can take advantage of hints to render more uniformly shaped screen fonts across the character set. All methods of hinting strive to fit (map) the outline of a character onto the pixel grid and produce the most pleasing/recognizable character no matter how coarse the grid is.


Hinting is an approach to the aliasing problem in rendering scalable fonts. It’s a process of applying special instructions to contours of letters that improve font appearance on low-resolution devices.


Type cast on a mechanical composition system.


Humanist letterforms are letterforms originating among the humanists of the Italian Renaissance. They are of two kinds: Roman forms based on Carolingian script, and italic forms, which occur for the first time in Italy in the fifteenth century. Humanist letterforms show the clear trace of a broad-nib pen held by a right-handed scribe. They have a modulated stroke and a humanist axis. Sometimes Humanist faces are referred as Venetian and characterized by a sloping cross-bar on the “e”.
See also Venetian in Classification section.

Humanist Sans

A sub-group of Sans Serif types showing the influence of Humanist and Aldine roman forms.
See also Humanist sans in Classification section.

Humanist Slab Serif

A sub-group of Slab Serif types showing the influence of Humanist and Aldine roman forms.
See also Humanist slab serif in Classification section.

Hungar umlaut (Double acute)

An accent used on the vowels o and u in Hungarian and some other languages.


A punctuation mark used in some compound words, such as gastro-intestinal, seventy-five, and mother-in-law. A hyphen is also used to divide a word at the end of a line of type. Hyphens may appear only between syllables. Thus com-pound is properly hyphenated, but compo-und is wrong.


The splitting of a word across lines, as an aid to uniform line breaking.