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glossary G

galley
A sheet containing a proof of unpaginated type composition.

gamma Γ γ
Seventh Letter of the Greek Alphabet. The font Symbol most often used on American Computers to Type Cyrillic Letters places it in ASCII 71, the space for capital G.

gathering
In bookbinding, the manner of arranging folded sheets or signatures in sequence.

glottal stop
A clicking expulsion of a minimal amount of air used in some languages as a fundamental phoneme ordinarily. Represented by the apostrophe.

glyph
(1) The actual shape (bit pattern, outline) of a character image. For example, an italic ‘a’ and a roman ‘a’ are two different glyphs representing the same underlying character. In this strict sense, any two images which differ in shape constitute different glyphs. In this usage, “glyph” is a synonym for “character image,” or simply “image.” (2) A kind of idealized surface form derived from some combination of underlying characters in some specific context, rather than an actual character image. In this broad usage, two images would constitute the same glyph whenever they have essentially the same topology (as in oblique ‘a’ and roman ‘a’ ), but different glyphs when one is written with a hooked top and the other without (the way one prints an ‘a’ by hand).

golden section
The ideal proportion according to the ancient Greeks. Visualized as the division of a line into two unequal segments in such a way that the ratio of the smaller segment to the larger segment is equal to the ratio of the larger to the whole. It is usually defined as 21:34, that is, 21/34 and 34/(21+34) both equal approximately 0.618. A rectangle whose sides are of this proportion is called a “golden rectangle”. Golden rectangles can be found in the proportions of the Parthenon and many medieval manuscripts.

gothic
A general term for late medieval blackletter alphabets. (A term of contempt applied by Renaissance scholars, even though the Goths had little or no influence on the writing of the middle ages.)

graphic arts
The craft and profession of producing visible images for reproduction.

graphic design
That part of graphic arts concerned with the impact of the product.

graphic designer
Person who designs and specifies the visible details of a graphic product.

graffiti
Originally an inscription or design scratched on rock, stone or plaster. Now loosely applied to any writing on walls. (Plural of “graffito/”)

greeking
Render characters illegibly in part of layout, to emphasise design not content. Some word processing and page layout programs use a print preview feature that’s similar to greeking.

grid font
A graphical layout for the design of pages of a book or other document. Variations on pages must match divisions in the grid.

grotesques
A decorative style of illumination developed in 16th century Italy, using incongruous combinations of monstrous and natural forms.

grotesk
Another way to describe letters without serifs.

groundwork
Pattern formed by the repetition of the same ornament in a body of text.

grunge typography
A catch-all phrase to describe a typographic wave in the 1990s. Grunge, like many typographic/artistic movements before it, was a rebellion; but this rebellion denied not only the relevance of anything previous, but sometimes even the relevance of legibility itself, in the belief that the medium *is* the message. As grunge type designer Carlos Segura of T-26 says, “Typography is beyond letters. Some fonts are so decorative, they almost become ‘visuals’ and when put in text form, they tell a story beyond the words — a canvas is created by the personality of the collection of words on the page.” Grunge typefaces and typography were seen in magazines such as RayGun and Bikini.

guidelines
Most notably, (1) things to break while setting type. (2) dotted lines outlining the baseline and grid in the Fontographer space in which you design a letterform.

gutenberg
A unit of linear measure equal to 1/7200 inch, or about 1/100 of a point.

gutter
(1) The blank column between two columns of type. Also used for the fold and spine margins between the typeblocks on facing pages of a book. (2) The inner margin of a page, closest to the binding.