WordNoun: A single distinct meaningful elementof speech or writing, used with others (orsometimes alone) to form a sentence andtypically shown...Verb: Choose and use particular words inorder to say or write (something).Exclamation: Used to express agreement:"“That Jay is one dangerous character.”“Word.”".Synonyms: noun. speech - vocable - prom-iseverb. phrase - formulate - couch - verbalize
ImpactThe choice of words is one of the key com-ponenets of persuasive commnication.However, in written language, words havethe greatest impact when they are readableand legible. This is achieved by a number oftechniques, some of which shall be shownon the following pages.One of the key considerations in the impactof a word is CONTRAST.Contrast can be created using size, colour,direction and font type. It is created whena specific voice is placed next to an oppos-ing voice, often a directly opposing voice.High contrast can be used to create, amongother things, a sense of urgency, strength,obviousness or irony.
SizeThe voice of a piece is affected by font size.Larger font sizes will seem louder, smallerwill seem quieter. Larger size will conveyboldness, confidence, surety and, in theright context, attitude. Smaller will seemsubtle, an afterthought, or in the rightcontext, even smarmy. Much of the powerfont size has over the voice of a piece is incontext with other elements on the page.This same concept is often seen inadvertising. The disparity between largeand small text is used to differentiateimportant information from the lessimportant. The illustration from the jiong.com home page you can see how your eye is immediately drawn to the “super sized” G. In fact the word “ Jiong” is the first thing you pay attention to on the page. The key point here is that the font used for the lettering is the same.
WeightThe weight of words can be used toemphasise or to make things stand out incontrast.The image to the right ‘Titler’ home pagecombines bold and ultra bold versions ofthe type face with the Roman , the eye isimmediately drawn to the words “have”,“a” and “you”. The contrast principal of sizeis also at play here.In the example below, Carl Dair uses thisidea to great effect, where the contrast ofweight is immediately eviednt in a brouchreproduces by Carl Dair in the early 1950s.
TextureTexture is derived from the letterforms andhow they are arranged on the page. Dair’sdescription of this is both succinct andartistic :”Like threads in a cloth types formthe fabric of our daily communication.”The image below, from the Getty ResearchLibrary was designed by Cirus Studios of LosAngeles is a great example of typographiccontrast from the Getty Research Institute.
TypesettingThis is purely an aesthetic aspect oftypography.Typesetting is used to affect the spacesbetween individual words, betweenindividual letters, and the vertical spacingbetween lines.Generally speaking, the tighter the spacingthe better, insofar as readability is notnegatively effected. Tighter spacing willmake your text look more professional andthought out. Bolder and larger fonts cantake much tighter spacing and still remainreadable than can skinny or small fonts.The vertical space between the individuallines of a block of copy can be manipulatedto give the writing a specific meeter thatcan accentuate a piece well.
KerningKerning refers to the space between twoletters where as tracking refers to a groupof characters. Some pairs of letters needmore spacing between them so kerning is away to rectify this.
TrackingAdjusting the overall spacing of a group ofletters is called tracking.By expanding the tracking across a word,line, or entire block of text, the designercan create a more airy, open field. Inblocks of text, tracking is usually appliedin small increments, creating a subtleeffect not noticeable to the casual reader.Occasionally, a single word or phrase istracked for emphasis, especially whenCAPS or small caps are used within a line.Negative tracking, rarely desirable in textsizes, can be used sparingly to help bringup a short line of text.White type on a black background isconsidered more legible when it is tracked.
Word spacingEVEN WORD SPACINGIf word spaces are too large, they break thelines up into separate elements and disruptreading. This is especially true if justifiedtype is used on a short line length. If theword spaces are too small, it becomes dif-ficult to distinguish each separate word. Agood trick to use to check word spacing isto turn the page upside down and squint atit. Excessively large word spaces will standout. Be especially careful with condensedand expanded fonts, reversed type, andvertical, narrow typefaces (like Bodoni).EVEN LETTER SPACINGWhen letters are correctly spaced, a para-graph of type takes on an even color. Froma distance it should look like a screenedgray block. The shade of gray will dependon the heaviness of the typeface. Any inter-ference with normal letter spacing is veryhard to read. If the letter spacing is uneven,darker spots stand out in places against thegray color. Often, tight tracking will createuneven letter spacing.
LigaturesA ligature is a single sort in which two ormore letters are joined, usually to improvethe space between them. There are a fewligatures that are still seen today, such asthe connected fi, fl, the triple play ffl, andsometimes even the stylish ct ligature. Atypographic diphthong is a glyph of twovowels spliced together, and it symbolizesa phonemic diphthong, two linked vowelsounds. Ligatures and diphthongs are alsoknown as tied characters, tied letters, andsometimes quaints.
Other special charactersSome of the other special characters forlegibility or for added interest include:SWASHESSwashes are fancy characters that are usedin small quantities to add interest to type.They are not usually included in the stand-ard font set, but often appear as ExpertSets.OLD STYLE FIGURES (NUMBERS)The numbers in a regular font are usuallylarger and sit on the baselines. When theseregular numbers appear in text they seemout of place. Oldstyle figures (available inExpert Sets) fit in better with lowercase let-ters because they also have ascenders anddescenders.
PunctuationPunctuation is important to consider asa typographer, as text can be difficult tounderstand or it can be misleading if usedincorrectly.There is more to punctuation than justperiods, of course. As every type designersoon realizes, a complete font set will alsoneed an apostrophe (’), colon (:), semicolon(;), comma (,), hyphen (-), an en-dash (–),an em-dash (—), ellipsis
Punctuation...Dashes, Rules and Dot LeadersThe smallest typographic line is the hy-phen, the short dash used to link hyphen-ated words and for wordbreaks at the endof a line. Ems and ens return to help de-scribe the other line dashes: the en dash,the width of an en space, and the em dash,a popular line the width of an em space.Accent marks, which rest over and underthe letters of foreign expressions, are alsoknown as diacritical marks or diacritics.Some common diacritics are the acute oraigu (é), the cedille (ç), the caret, circum-flex or circonflexe (ê), the grave (à), thetilde or swung dash (ñ), and the umlaut,a feature in many German words (ü), isidentical to the diaeresis or trema (ö) thatis rare and not mandatory in English (don’tbe naïve), but is a regular feature of Dutch,French and Spanish.
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