Fixing type

Dodging bullets, hanging indents, and pushing around widows and orphans

Automated typography, whether straight out of a Quark style sheet or a Hermes tag list, rarely is as “designed” as it needs to be. Carefully-crafted typography is key to a publication’s ability to communicate clearly. Text must read and display sing, and a designer must make significant changes to raw typography to accomplish this.



Text typography is all about readability. Readability can be optimized by the manipulation of line space, letter space, font size, style choice, column width, H&Js and the correct use of special characters. Copy should be easy to read; lines of text should flow smoothly from one to another.



Display typography goes beyond readability. Typography in large sizes must also possess strong structure and geometry. Display typography becomes partly image.


[For complete paper, use “download PDF” button above. Control-click to save linked file to desktop.]

paper 2 info This paper was handed out during the first of two typography talks for the Seattle Times (and then rewritten for the Denver Post). This is pretty much the “Rules of Typography.”
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