You’re Saying Font, But You Really Meant Typeface

A look at how the terms ‘typeface’ and ‘font’ came to be used interchangeably



The terms ‘Typeface’ and ‘Font’ have been used interchangeably when it comes to the appearance of text.

But it seems that the interchangeable use of these two terms only happens in a design-related environment for the most part.

Just think about it for a minute. Whenever you’re typing up a report or perhaps drafting up presentation slides, it’s ‘fonts’ that you’re picking from that drop-down menu and not ‘typefaces’.

A few familiar ones include Arial, Times New Roman, Garamond, the occasional ‘Comic Sans’ if you don’t know better, and the list goes on.

This is where the confusion began.

In most software where font options are provided, there was never an option that required you to choose a ‘Typeface’.

Or, at least they don’t call it that.

screenshot from google doc

Your act of scrolling through the options, looking for something that appeals to you aesthetically, is in fact the act of choosing a typeface.




Writing about what I care, and learning from what I write.