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glossary V

vellum
Traditionally the skin of calves, cows, goats or sheep prepared for writing.

vermillion
A bright red or red-orange pigment made of mercuric sulphide.

versal
A large, often ornate, initial capital, either elevated or dropped, at the beginning of a verse, paragraph, section or chapter.

verso pages
The even numbered, left-hand pages of a book.

Vertical Alignment Zone
Due to the way the human eye works when viewing blocks of type, curved letters such as “O” should be drawn larger than letters such as “E” in order to appear to be the same height. The technical term for this is “Overshoot”. However, at small sizes, this excess should drop away. This is done using Blues Zones, which are areas of analogy between letters of the same typeface. When Fontographer computes the Vertical Alignment zones, the first value is the baseline overshoot, the second is the normal baseline.

virtual body
A term invented by John Hudson of Tyro Typeworks to describe the grid in which a letter is placed digitally in relation to how a letter would have been set in traditional printing methods. The body of the letter is the height of the piece of metal on which a letter was cast to set on a page. In some cases the body is only a tiny bit larger than the length from the highest ascender limb to the lowest descender limb. In some cases, however, the body was cast much larger, allowing for a sort of built-in leading. This has carried over on occasion to digital type resulting in unusual type relationships. this is why 10 point Perpetua looks nearly the same size as 8 point Caslon. The virtual body, if visible around a character, could give you important information about how that letter would print at certain sizes in relation to other fonts in the same size.