Now arriving at the Terminal. It is now okay to use approved typographic devices. Terminals, in typography, are the finishing element to a stroke that does not contain a serif.  There are a few different types of terminals such as:  ball (lachrymal), beak, and teardrop. Below is an example of teardrop terminals.

terminals Teardrop Terminals are named so due to their resemblance to actual teardrops (duh, right?) Commonly seen on a,c,f,j,r, and y.

Ball Terminals, also called Lachrymal Terminals, are named so due to their round terminals.  Found in many modern typefaces (think Bodoni), ball terminals are seen in all the same letters as teardrop terminals.

Finally, Beak Terminals (pictured below) are terminals often found on the uppercase T, E, and L in most serif typefaces. They can also be found on older humanistic typefaces that have sharp calligraphic terminals. Beak terminals are associated with their jaunting, sharp spurs.


So what’s the Point?

Terminals are a finishing element to a stroke that does not contain a serif

  • Terminals come in 3 flavors: Ball, Beak, and Teardrop
  • Although Beaks are sometimes considered their own entity and not a terminal, most often they are considered one.
  • Look for identifying terminals through a,c,f,j,r, y, E, L, T and you should be able to categorize them as beak, ball, or teardrop.