Leading is the spaces in between lines of Type. Like tracking having open leading lends itself to have a more modern and spacious feel. Having closed leading lends itself to have a more crowded feel. Leading is measured from Baseline to Baseline in point size.
Kerning is used to adjust the space between individual letterforms. The space that each letter occupies varies. As a design you must consider the entire character as the letter, and kern it as to how it reacts with other letters. Metric kerning uses the fonts built in kerning. Optical kerning ignores the fonts built in kerning and adjusts it according to shape.
Tracking is the overall spacing between all the letters in Words, Lines, Paragraphs, and Columns of Type. Having an open track lends itself to have a more modern and spacious feel. Having a closed track lends itself to have a more crowded feel. Watch out for poor tracking in which you have too much or less.
Yes you must read. Reading your type and make sure it makes sense! Proof read it always, even if it’s just a sentence. Leave nothing unread. Ask others to read it. It never hurts to have people proof read anything.
Micro designing is the view that deals with the very minute details. It ensures a much more clean design and consistency. Some examples of this would be Proof Reading, Tracking, Kerning, Leading, Widows, Orphans, Rivers, etc. (I shall address all of these later.)
Macro designing is the view that deals with the whole body of typography that makes up the design. You must establish the format of the composition. You also have to work with the placement of the other elements.
Font is not the same thing as Typeface. A font is the selected family member within a Typeface. It allows you to access, install, and have an output. Fonts are what are in the family such as Helvetica Bold Oblique.
Typeface is not the same thing as a font. A Typeface is the specific design of all an alphabet’s letterforms. This includes upper and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, special characters, punctuation, and glyphs. Also known as a Type Family. Typefaces are what the family is called such as Helvetica.
The Anatomy of Type is actually pretty interesting. Nothing feels cooler than explaining to someone what to fix on their type with proper terminology. Knowing the anatomy of type can help you build your own font, or see the problems with others.
X-Height is a line that defines where all the lower case letters will rise. Also known as the Mean-Line.
A Descender is a lowercase letter that usually extends below the Baseline. Such as g, j, p, q, and y.
The Baseline refers to an imaginary line where all the letters sit. (Baseline? Baseline Grids anyone? Is this a spoiler to an upcoming Page Layout month?)
An Ascender is a lowercase letter that usually extends above the Cap Height by just a little. Such as b, d, f, h, k, l, and t.
The Cap Height refers to an imaginary line that runs on top of the capital letters (Which they usually never pass).
A Sans Serif typeface is one without serif that’s uniform in stroke width. It’s the plain letterform. It doesn’t have many variations such as Serif typefaces tend to have. It can be classified into some groups. The Realist sans serifs is just the strip down of its basic letterform and is very plain. The Humanist sans serifs are more along the lines of script and calligraphy. The Geometric sans serif is based on geometric shapes.