Mean line

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In typography, the mean line is the imaginary line at the top of the x-height.[1]

A diagram showing the line terms used in typography

Round glyphs will tend to break (overshoot) the mean line slightly in many typefaces, since this is aesthetically more pleasing, otherwise curved letters such as a, c, e, m, n, o, r, s, and u will appear visually smaller than flat-topped (or bottomed) characters of equal height, due to an optical illusion.


  1. ^ Felici, James (2011). The Complete Manual of Typography: A Guide to Setting Perfect Type, Second Edition. Adobe Press. p. 315. ISBN 978-0-321-77326-5.

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