Double-Storey a

The term double-storey describes the appearance of a letterform

type anatomy double-storey a
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Among the specialized terminology that exists in typography and that is used to describe elements of individual letterforms is the term "storey." Several letters can be described as having either a single-storey or a double-storey appearance—among them are the letters a and g. 

What Is a Storey in Typography

The double-storey a is a lowercase a that consists of a closed bowl at the bottom and a stem with a finial arm at the top hanging over the bowl and creating a partially enclosed area above the bowl.

 

A single-storey a is a lowercase a that consists of a rounded closed bowl and a stem but no ​obvious finial. It is the lowercase a most of us learned when we studied cursive writing. The single-storey a is also called an "upright finial a." 

Other Typography Terminology

  • A bowl on a letterform is also called the aperture. It is the enclosed circular portion of a character.
  • A finial is the curved tail on some letters. It is also called a terminal.
  • The stem of a character—also known as the stroke—is the main vertical line in a character.

The lowercase double-storey a has all three of these elements.

Type Trivia

In typography, one way to differentiate true italic from faux or software-slanted fonts is by looking at the letter a. The double-storey a is usually found in upright roman fonts. Even when the accompanying roman version has a double-storey a, the true italic version usually uses a single-storey a.

An italicized double-storey a is a possible sign of a faux italic.