© 2004-2012, v.8,
TypeCooker is a project by
Erik van Blokland,


These are the parameters which you can expect from TypeCooker. Items listed in gray blocks will show up, but can be ignored if you don't know what they mean.

1 Construction

construction examples

This refers to how the letters are drawn, which strokes go where. Capitals and romans use separate strokes. In italic construction most strokes in a letter are connected. Take a look at the proportions. How large are your capitals? Look up roman, italic and capital construction.

2 Ascender

ascender examples

This is the amount of space letters take up above the x-height. Some lowercase roman and italic letters have ascenders. The size of capitals can be related to the ascender height, but it is not required.

3 Descender

descender examples

This is the amount of space letters take up below the baseline.

4 Width

width examples

This is the amount of accumulated space letters take up in horizontal direction. Narrow letters allow more words on a line than wide letters. The differences between narrow, normal and wide letters can be substantial.

5 Contrast type

contrast type pens types of contrast

This refers to the way weight is distributed along a stroke: which parts are thick, which are thin, and how the transition between then two takes place. A broad nib pen has different characteristics than a pointed nib. There are also intermediate values possible.

6 Contrast amount

amount of contrast

This refers to the actual difference between thick and thin in a letter. What's the thickest part? what's the thinnest? How is the transition between one and the other? Note: the amount of contrast is related to the weight of a letter, but still a separate parameter. It is possible to have a low contrast and a high contrast letter which are both heavy.

7 Stems

ductus in stem

Vertical and horizontal strokes can have a slight ductus, a subtle reduction of weight towards the middle of the stroke. This to make the stroke a bit sharper, and reduce some of the weight.

8 Stroke endings

stroke endings

A serif can grow on the end of a stroke. Or not. Or just sometimes. Note: there is some logic to the placement of serifs.

9 Stroke weight

weight examples

This is how fat or light a stroke can get. Related to contrast amount and contrast type, weight determines the amount of color required in a letter.

10 Intended application

To make things more interesting, these are some parameters which can have effects on all other parameters. Think of these requirements and how they woulf affect the design as it is.

11 Intended size

The intended size can be big effects on the contrast, weight and spacing.

12 Special

A couple of less usual parameters for extra points.