One thing type geeks get peeved about is the word “font”. It’s a word that’s used for everything now-a-days. But, it really shouldn’t be.
Without really getting into semantics, let me break it down for ya:
A series of letters (and other characters) that have similar design characteristics. Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, Georgia, etc. are all typefaces and they were originally created for print by type designers (who are highly undervalued, not unlike most creators).
Quite simply, a font is a digital version of a typeface.
Further confusing the matter is that “font” has another meaning. Back in the day, for printers, “font” referred to one specific style, weight and size of a typeface. So, like Helvetica Black 14pt, was one font and Helvetica Black 18pt, was a different “font”.
Why does this distinction matter? You can think of it like this… the typeface is the creation of a type designer and the font is the tool for any joe blow to use the typeface. SO… it’s kind of like creating a video and then putting it on You tube. You tube is not the video, it’s the just a way to distribute and use the video.
So, calling a typeface a font is kind of like crediting the distributer/tool over the creator.
Oh, and did I mention creating typefaces is an extremely time-consuming, labor of love that most people get paid next to nothing to do?
Maybe now you can see why it upsets a few geeks. 🙂