Font Types and Formats

Typography is the art of use and modifying fonts by using a variety of illustration techniques. This art becoming more important day after day becouse you are forced to deal with on a daily basis in everywhere from newspapers, magazines and books to websites and webfonts services. So, This article is going to help you explaining the different kinds of fonts and which formats are used for fonts.

Font Types

Since the 1990s most fonts are digital and Begun used on computers, So, There are an abundance of fonts have been created over the centuries, Therefore, they are commonly categorized according to three basic kinds.


Bitmap fonts are designed for digital display and they are consist of a series of pixels to representing the image of each glyph in each face and size.

Advantages of Bitmap fonts:

Extremely fast and simple to rende.

Unscaled bitmap fonts always give exactly the same output.

Easier to create than other kinds.

• Contains a fixed number of rectilinear units.

Disadvantage of Bitmap fonts:

Poor quality when scaled or transformed.

Used at a specific size.


Outline fonts are scalable which mean they can be reproduced in high resolution becouse its use Bézier curves which drawing instructions and mathematical formulae to describe each glyph. such as print at nearly any size.

Advantages of Outline fonts:

Easily transformed by applying a mathematical function to each vector point.

Scaling them without causing pixellation.

Disadvantage of Outline fonts:

Hard to read on screen at small sizes.

Bézier curves cannot be rendered accurately onto a raster display.


Stroke fonts use a series of specified lines and other information to define the profile or size and shape of the line in a specific face which together describe the appearance of the letter.

Advantages of Stroke fonts:

Used to generate a font with a different weight.

Allows scaling glyphs in height or width without altering stroke thickness of the base glyphs.

Tremendous space saving using stroke-based fonts on East Asian character sets.

Disadvantage of Stroke fonts:

Difficult to store multiple East Asian typefaces on embedded devices.

Stroke and component shapes vary given their position within the character.

Font Formats

There are four kinds for font formats


The PostScript or “Type 1“ font format was developed by Adobe in the 1980s before few years of release TrueType. with using PostScript, the glyphs are outline fonts described with cubic Bezier curves. The format is based on Adobe’s PostScript printing technology which is a programming language that allows for high resolution output of resizable graphics.


TrueType is a font system originally developed by Apple and Microsoft in the late 1980. It was intended to replace Type 1 fonts, which many felt were too expensive. TrueType fonts contain both the screen and printer font data in a single component, making the fonts easier to install. Its glyphs are described with quadratic Bezier curves. It is currently very popular and implementations exist for all major operating systems.


OpenType is a smart font system designed by Adobe and Microsoft. Its fonts contain both the screen and printer font data in a single component. Also, contain outlines in either the TrueType or Type 1 format together with a wide range of metadata. Additionally, the OpenType format permits the storage of up to 65,000 characters.


Uses a different sort of glyph description, It draws glyphs using strokes produced by moving a polygonal or elliptical pen approximated by a polygon along a path made from cubic Bézier splines and straight line segments. One of the characteristics of Metafont is that all of the shapes of the glyphs are defined with geometrical equations.

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