“Fontgeviert” in English?

Andreas Stötzner's picture

I look for the exact English term of this German word. I found “quad”. Is “font quad” correct?
What is meant is the measurement from the horizontal upper to bottom borderline which define a font’s space for the glyphs.

DTY's picture

How about "em"?

Nick Job's picture

Don't get em started!

BeauW's picture

Em is the vertical measurement, top to bottom, while the quad is the same measurement squared.

Nick Cooke's picture

... or em square.

dezcom's picture

We also used to call it an M-quad, as a space, equal to the square of the point size in foundry type--a quad in 12 point metal was one pica by one pica by space height high. In the digital world, all this goes away because nobody agrees on things any more. It used to be simple, it was a block of lead and that was the end of it :-)

William Berkson's picture

>nobody agrees on things any more

I don't agree with that :)

quadibloc's picture

The measurement from the top to the bottom of the characters in a font is the "point size". There is no simple term in English for the space from ascender or cap height, whichever is greater, to the descender depth, which would exclude possible small amounts of white space in the font in order to permit alignment of the baseline.

If you mean a horizontal distance equivalent to the vertical point size, that is called an "em". In fact, instead of measuring the width of a column of type in picas, the same unit of horizontal distance is called a "pica em" to make it clear that a horizontal distance is discussed.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

Thanks all for your remarks. As a see I haven’t been totaly clear in my initial question. I did mean neither the vertical measure (= point size) nor the horizontal one (“em”), but the square unit which results from both. So speaking, “em square” or “M quad” seems approriate to me.

William Berkson's picture

Traditionally, the term "quad" refers to physical chunks of lead used as spacing. The term "em square" now refers to the square on which digital type is drawn, and determines the vertical spacing, before leading.

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