What is the difference between a typeface and a font?
A font is the product of a typeface. One way to think about it is the font is the actual tool, and the typeface is the design. So most often when people ask “what font is that?,” they really mean “what typeface is that?” because they’re actually referring to the design of the letterforms not what file you are using.
A typeface is a set of designs for all the characters in an alphabet, including letters, numbers, punctuation marks and symbols. A typeface encompasses multiple styles including weights like regular, medium and bold, or italics. For example our typeface FAIRE Palme has weights ranging from hairline to super and matching italics. Each of those styles in isolation is a font. You choose a typeface, you purchase a font (license1).
The terms “typeface” and “font” have been used interchangeably for many years, and there’s no denying that they’re closely related. However, understanding the difference between the two is important for designers who want to create effective typography. Choosing the right typeface can set the tone for a piece of design and create a sense of identity, while choosing the right font can ensure that the typography is legible and easy to read.
Written by Sabrina Nacmias
March 23, 2023