Paratype Typographic Glossary

Ideogram

A symbol which represents a concept or idea.

Ikarus

Ikarus was the original digital outline type technology, developed through the 1970s by Peter Karow at URW in Hamburg. It was the first typeface digitization program to include an interpolation facility. Originally running only on expensive graphics workstations, Ikarus is available now for Macintosh, Windows and Unix workstations from URW++. TrueType and Type 1 fonts can be generated, but its TrueType hinting capabilities are limited – like in most font editing tools.

Imagesetter

Device for outputting type and page layouts at high resolution (1000+dpi) onto paper, film or direct to plate.

Inferior

Small characters, usually smaller than x-heght, placed on or below the baseline and used for footnotes and fractions.

Initial

The beginning of a chapter or section is sometimes given emphasis by enlarging the initial letter of the first paragraph. A descending initial aligns the top of the enlarged character with the top of the first line of text, and aligns the bottom of the enlarged character with the base line of the last line of text that it displaces. An ascending initial keeps its baseline aligned with the first line of the paragraph. When an enlarged initial capital is used, the word, phrase, or line which it begins may be set in uppercase or in small caps. If the first word of a proper name is set in this way, the remaining words of the name should be as well.

Ink trap

The features of the letterform that compensate the ink spreads over the letter edges and make the colour of type more even.

Instruction

A low-level program code in a TrueType glyph description, preprogram or font program, specifying a particular action to perform on the current outline, or on other data structures, or on the program’s own flow of control. Besides manipulating control points, TrueType instructions include looping, conditional branching and function calls, arithmetic and logical operations.

Interletter space

The horizontal space between individual letterforms within a single word. Interletter space may be adjusted as a function of the letters (see kerning), but its proper value is an integral part of the typeface design.

Interpolation

As the outlines of digital type are mathematical formulae, intermediate weights of a typeface can be calculated and created out of two extremes.

Interrobang

The interrobang was introduced in 1962 by Martin Speckter, head of a New York advertising and public relations agency and editor of a magazine called Type Talks. In a Type Talks article, Speckter declared that advertising copywriters needed a new mark to punctuate exclamatory rhetorical questions common in advertising headlines (for example: “What?! Whiter than White?!”). In this type of copy, neither an exclamation point nor a question mark (used alone) could fully convey the writer’s intent. Speckter’s solution was to combine the two marks into a single symbol. Speckter invited readers of Type Talks to coin a name for the new mark, with the stipulation that all proposed names derive from genuine language roots. Suggestions ranged from the simple “rhet” to the tongue-twisting “exclarotive”. Of the names submitted Speckter favored “exclamaquest” and “interrobang” and finally chose the latter. Ideas for how the new punctuation mark should look also poured in. Some designs were more imaginative than practical, but most indicated that the mark be drawn as an exclamation point centered in a question mark, both sharing a common dot.

Interword space

The horizontal space between words in a line. Interword space can be adjusted to achieve justification.

Ionic

Name of some fonts from a Clarendon group of typefaces. Sometime also used as a synonym of a Egyptian fonts.
See also a Clarendon and a Egyptian in Classification section.

Italian

A sort of Slab Serif types which stems are thinner then horizontal strokes and serifs.

See also Italian in Classification section.

Italic

A sloped or cursive variation of Roman. In most cases this represents a complementary style of the upright letter, although some of the lowercase letters may change form slightly and the serif structure is different. Modern usage requires an italic to accompany a roman in most types designed for continuous reading.