Introduction of Typography in Cartography: Typefaces and Fonts (Especially for GATE-Geospatial 2022)

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Topography is a detailed map of the surface features of land. It includes the mountains, hills, creeks, and other bumps and lumps on a particular hunk of earth. This handy word is a Greek-rooted combo of topos meaning “place” and graphein “to write.” Typography means the arrangement of the natural and artificial physical features of an area.

Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point size, line length, line-spacing, letter-spacing, and adjusting the space within letters pairs.

Use of Typography in Maps

In cartographic design, a variety text material is found in maps to meet different purposes:

  • Titles
  • Labels
  • Legends
  • Annotations
This Image Shows Maps to Meet Different Purposes in Cartogra …

Functions of Typography in Cartography

Typography contributes to the beauty of a map. Text is information added to a map that assists the user in orientation of a map, aids in recognition of features, and explains any particular information. Without text a map is referred to as “blind map.”

  • Type is used to label and name.
  • Type is used on maps to organize.
  • Type explains information on a map.
  • Type manipulates and imparts different impressions on a map.

Typefaces and Fonts

A typeface is a distinct style of characters that are created by a typographer or type designer. Typically, the shapes of these lettered-symbols characterize the typeface. A simple definition is to think of font as the delivery mechanism and typeface as the artistic creation. In other words, a font is “all the variations of a typeface of a given size possible” – including variations in weight, italics, and kerning.

This Image Shows Typeface Font Design

In figure, a typeface is a design of type while a font is a complete character set of a single style of a typeface. For example, Century Gothic is a typeface but the styles of Century Gothic in the green box are fonts.

A Type Family is then a collection of fonts many sizes and styles for a single Typeface. A type family is usually given the same name as the typeface, but that is not always the case.

For example, The Times family consists of Times New Roman, Times New Roman World, Titling, and Times Hever Titling typefaces. In all a Type Family many contain many variations but all of them are based on the common design characteristics.

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