Font vs. Typeface

As graphic designers, we study the characteristics of typefaces and learn how font combinations can portray different feelings, or help with readability. For example, at our design studio we know that the font Interstate 12pt is more readable than the font Avenir 12pt because of the way the typeface Interstate was designed with a higher x-height. So, what is the difference between a font and a typeface?

Typeface: Arial
Use the term typeface when referring to the entire collection of letters and numbers, including all of the different weights, designed as a family.

Font: Arial Bold 24pt
Use the term font when  referring to the specific weight and size that is being used from the typeface.

Does it matter? While it’s helpful to know the difference between the terms, most people will still say “font” when they mean typeface. In our design agency we also use the terms loosely, but now you will know the difference of a font vs. typeface!