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Using Type

Type is always measured in points, and there are 72 points per inch.

You might think it's odd that type isn't measured in inches or millimeters, but when you think about it, many things have their own sizes. A bucket of water, a flagon of mead, a fortnight, a metric liter—you get the idea. The true size of any given font is coded into the font file. Some fonts look smaller at 72 points (1") than others because the font creator has left a given amount of headroom space for the font. So, at 72 points, the capital letters might be only 50 points. Besides this extra padding that prevents the font leading from being too tight, foreign accent marks usually go above characters, and the accents make up the difference between the capital character and a true measurement of 72 points being exactly 1". Figure 20.35 gives you an example showing the true height.


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