Like our biological eyes, typographic eyes come in all shapes and sizes and color (think paper color)! In typography, an eye is a special counter reserved for the lowercase e.
One reason is back in the early days of printing, there were several factors to consider when preparing your design. Poor paper quality, inks, and presses made choosing an appropriate typeface even more important than it is today. It is with that in mind, typesetters would look at the eye (counter) of the e to insure that it would be large enough to prevent ink blotting (or filling in).
Even today this is given thought when printing at small sizes and on cheap paper (think newspapers, phone books, and photocopies). In fact, there are several techniques used to prevent that ink fill in modern typography. But, we will talk about that later. So…
What’s the Point
In typography, an eye refers specifically to the counter in the lowercase e
- It is usually one of the main typographic elements considered when selecting a typeface for a job
- Typically, the more readable a typeface is, the larger the eye of the e.