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Graphic Design Terminology: Leading

Leading: A typography term that refers to the space between lines of type. This is also known as “line spacing” too. Leading is generally measured as the distance from one baseline of type to the next. The term dates back to days of manual typesetting (ancient, we know) when strips of lead (yes, actual metal) were inserted between the rows of set letters to create distance. As you can see from our example below, type that’s set “solid” and “really open” can be difficult to read. There’s typically a sweet spot between too tight and too loose.

Interested in learning more about typography? Purchase Robert Bringhurst’s book: The Elements of Typographic Style. A must for any aspiring designer.

It’s 3thought’s goal to be a resource, educate and promote professional graphic design. If there’s a design term you’re not familiar with, or have more info to add to our definition, please do so in the comments section below. For more design terminology view 3thought’s ongoing “Graphic Design Terminology” page.