Descender Typography

The portion of some lowercase letters, such as g and y, that extends or descends below the baseline is the descender. The length and shape of the descender can affect readability of lines of type and is an identifying factor for some typefaces.

The descenders of some letters may touch or almost touch letters in the line below causing awkward or distracting patterns. This is most likely to happen or be obvious when a line of text with long descenders is above a line of text with tall ascenders and capital letters. Some solutions include: Increase the leading (line spacing) between lines of type; Choose a different typeface; For headlines and subheads, some careful editing/re-wording can eliminate the problem; Changing the alignment of the text may also help.

Also Known As-  extender, tail, loop

© Nicole Tuzhba, all rights reserved


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