Ascender (typography)

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The ascenders are the parts of lowercase characters that lie above the mean line.

In typography, an ascender is the portion of a minuscule letter in a Latin-derived alphabet that extends above the mean line of a font. That is, the part of a lower-case letter that is taller than the font's x-height.

Ascenders, together with descenders, increase the recognizability of words. For this reason, British road signs no longer use all capital letters.[1]

Studies made at the start of the construction of the British motorway network concluded that words with mixed-case letters were much easier to read than "all-caps" and a special font was designed for motorway signs. These then became universal across the U.K. See Road signs in the United Kingdom.


  1. ^ Sampson, Geoffrey (1985). Writing Systems: A linguistic introduction. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. pp. 94–95. ISBN 0-8047-1254-9.