Typeface vs Font: The Key Differences Between The Two

by | Branding

The design world is full of confusing terminology. Typeface vs font; Malaysian designers often interchange these 2 words without a second thought.

We’ll be exploring typeface vs font in detail and breaking down the differences. So whether you’re an experienced designer or a novice, this blog post can help you understand this misunderstood duo! 

Typeface vs Font: What Are The Differences?

The difference between typefaces and fonts can often be confusing to many. 

A typeface is a type of design that creates characters or symbols (e.g. Times New Roman or Comic Sans MS). These are often manipulated and shaped by type designers.

On the other hand, fonts refer to the type that is digitally rendered for display and printing. This includes sizes like 10 or 14 pt, colour, and styles such as italics or underline. 

In terms of usage, a typeface is typically used in reference when discussing type design. In contrast, font usually refers to the size, weight, and style of type.

Despite this subtle distinction, designers use typefaces and fonts together when displaying words on screen or paper. 

Ultimately, they work together to create a visual hierarchy and improve legibility.

Understanding the Formalities of Typefaces

If you are designing for any brand in Malaysia, understanding typefaces is an essential part of any design work. 

A typeface typically refers to a full-type family or a set of fonts that share the same design but are offered in multiple sizes or weights. On the other hand, fonts are single-type styles within a typeface. 

Usually, they refer to a specific size and weight, such as 12pt Bold Italic. 

Every typeface has its personality and can go a long way in conveying subtle messages about the business, products, or services that it represents. 

Getting familiar with typefaces and how to use them is vital for any designer wishing to create any visual corporate identity elements. Understanding typefaces is an integral part of developing effective branding and marketing strategies.

By mastering the basics of typeface and font, any budding designer can have all the tools to create visually appealing typographic designs.

The variety of typefaces available today provides endless possibilities for creating unique logos and documents. At the same time, it makes a consistent look possible when presenting brand-related information.

Moreover, a typeface is a design concept that refers to the visual style of the characters. Therefore, it serves as more of a tool for aesthetic purposes.

In contrast, fonts refer to specific typeface designs with particular sizes or effects, such as bold or italics.

Fonts provide the physical characteristics needed to demonstrate type on a computer screen or physical paper.

The Role of Kerning, Tracking, and Leading in Typeface Design

Regarding typeface design, there are several characteristics that we need to consider carefully. 

Typeface design is a complex process, with varied aspects of typeface, such as kerning, tracking, and leading.


Kerning refers to the horizontal space between each letterform in type. It helps the typeface look visually balanced and harmonious when set. 


Tracking involves increasing or decreasing the spacing for all letters. Most designers will usually set the same width between each letter, giving them visual dominance within a line. 


Finally, leading is the vertical space between lines.

Usually, more prominent leading creates a higher degree of readability for longer texts. It is sometimes for aesthetic purposes, too.

Understanding these three attributes is essential when creating typeface designs. They should be balanced and complement each other to achieve a coherent aesthetic look. 

Tips for Choosing the Right Typeface vs Font

One of the most critical decisions a designer can make in typography is selecting a suitable typeface or font. 

But with thousands of typefaces available, it can be an overwhelming choice. Additionally, many Malaysian brands resort to similar typefaces that are usually readily available.

Choose a typeface that speaks to your brand style while allowing flexibility in weight and other features. Clarity is essential when selecting typefaces and fonts; they must be legible and have adequate space between them.  

How to Incorporate Your Branding into Your Typography

When deciding how to incorporate your branding into your typography, knowing the difference between typeface and font is essential.

The knowledge makes it easier to decide which typeface best reflects your brand identity. Using typefaces that work together and complement each other will also help ensure a consistent visual identity.

And as mentioned, consistency gives customers or readers a sense of familiarity with your brand whenever they come across your content. 


In summary, it’s essential to understand the differences and usage of typeface vs font when communicating your brand’s message. The typeface is the design of a letterform, while font refers to the family of characters and symbols used in a particular size and style.

From formal font styles like serifs to casual types like sans serifs and scripts, knowing the differences matters. This is an important part of a successful branding campaign.

Additionally, you should consider the impact of kerning, tracking, and leading when selecting the right typeface or font. 

Lastly, incorporating branding into typography requires unique thinking and professional graphic design practices. Therefore, ensure you follow guidelines for visual appeal that aligns with your brand personality. 

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