• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
WMA TextInContext
 

WMA TextInContext

on

  • 350 views

Practical, research-based visual tips for developing readable text on panels in exhibitions.

Practical, research-based visual tips for developing readable text on panels in exhibitions.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
350
Views on SlideShare
350
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
5
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    WMA TextInContext WMA TextInContext Document Transcript

    • Text in Context Tanya Symons Bredehoft Principal: Artefact DesignTuesday, October 30, 2012Hi, I’m Tanya Bredehoft, principal of Artefact Design in Encinitas, CA —— We are aninterpretive design group. —— One of our areas of expertise is exhibit design. —— Artefactplans and designs interpretive exhibitions and materials for museums, aquariums and zoos,nature centers, botanical gardens, and a host of other public venues. ∆
    • Text in Context Easy on the Eyes WMA Conference Palm Springs, California • October 23, 2012Tuesday, October 30, 2012Today, I’ll introduce you to the visual aspects of text comprehension and walk you throughour typical process for creating readable text. ∆
    • Tuesday, October 30, 2012Let’s start with what we’re trying to accomplish... getting people to read your labels andpanels. —— Paul talked about how the brain works —— now let’s illustrate the visual processof designing for the brain. —— Design, and in this context, text design, has a huge impacton how or why we read text. —— Attracting Attention ——To be noticed, your panels need tobe saying, HEY LOOK AT ME — by creating visual interest ∆
    • Tuesday, October 30, 2012To attract and sustain attention, your panels need to be laid out following good designpractices. —— The typeface, size, and case must be appropriate to both the subject and thetarget audience. —— The contrast of the type color on the background, the spacing of theletters, and the length of lines of text all need to be optimized so the content is easy for thebrain to process. ∆
    • Tuesday, October 30, 2012With proper attention to the text design, the content will have a better chance of holding theviewer’s attention long enough for them to become engaged. ∆
    • Tuesday, October 30, 2012————
    • Tuesday, October 30, 2012At every level, the relationship between the labels and the content, and the layout of both,must work together for an engaging experience. ∆
    • Keys to SuccessTuesday, October 30, 2012——
    • Keys to Success Attracting Attention Through VisualsTuesday, October 30, 2012——
    • Keys to Success Attracting Attention Through Visuals TYPEFACE TYPE CASE CONTRAST LINE LENGTH LETTER SPACINGTuesday, October 30, 2012—— So —— lets take a look at the important visual elements of text ∆
    • Keys to Success Attracting Attention Through Visuals TYPEFACE - foundational choice TYPE CASE CONTRAST LINE LENGTH LETTER SPACINGTuesday, October 30, 2012The first step is selecting the typeface or typefaces. —— Form and function. They need to beattractive to the target audience, include enough variation for heads, bodies, and captions,and be easy for the brain to process. ∆
    • Keys to Success Attracting Attention Through Visuals TYPEFACE - foundational choice TYPE CASE - establishing a uniform standard CONTRAST LINE LENGTH LETTER SPACINGTuesday, October 30, 2012This is about defining what chunks of type may be in all caps, which will be title caps, andwhich will use sentence capitalization. ∆
    • Keys to Success Attracting Attention Through Visuals TYPEFACE - foundational choice TYPE CASE - establishing a uniform standard CONTRAST - is there enough? LINE LENGTH LETTER SPACINGTuesday, October 30, 2012This is about the selection of the color palette. —— Pretty, daring, or staid may be thestylistic choice. —— Regardless of the style intent, it is vital to evaluate the proposedcombination of colors of type and background to insure the result is easy-to-processcontent.—— If there is going to be a problem with the contrast, it can, and should be,avoided very early in the process.∆
    • Keys to Success Attracting Attention Through Visuals TYPEFACE - foundational choice TYPE CASE - establishing a uniform standard CONTRAST - is there enough? LINE LENGTH - there is always a lot to say LETTER SPACINGTuesday, October 30, 2012Too many words is typically a problem rather than too few. It is the brain of the audience thatneeds to be accommodated. Long lines of text are more difficult to process than shorterlines.∆
    • Keys to Success Attracting Attention Through Visuals TYPEFACE - foundational choice TYPE CASE - establishing a uniform standard CONTRAST - is there enough? LINE LENGTH - there is always a lot to say LETTER SPACING - room to grooveTuesday, October 30, 2012Being too cramped or too loose makes things difficult to read. Both the vertical andhorizontal space of letters, words, and lines must be addressed. ∆
    • Keys to Success Attracting Attention Through Visuals TYPEFACE TYPE CASE CONTRAST LINE LENGTH LETTER SPACINGTuesday, October 30, 2012All design is an iterative process, but taking time to give proper attention to these keys at anearly stage of a project will make it far easier to quickly achieve an engaging result. ∆
    • TypefaceTuesday, October 30, 2012A typeface is a family or group of related fonts which share the same design, varying only inweight, slant, character width, etc. ∆
    • Typeface Sans SerifTuesday, October 30, 2012The most basic category of faces is based on whether or not the letters have serifs. —— Thisis an example of a san serif face. —— Nothing but the basic stroke of the characters. ∆
    • Typeface SerifTuesday, October 30, 2012Here are some letters in a serifed font. Serifs are the details added to the ends of the strokesfor legibility and/or decoration. ∆
    • Typeface Sans SerifTuesday, October 30, 2012Here are three san serif fonts. —— As you can see, each has qualities, such as the shape ofthe C or the E, which set them apart from each other. ∆
    • Typeface SerifTuesday, October 30, 2012Here are three serif fonts. —— As you can see, in addition to each having letter shapequalities which set them apart, each of these also has a different style of serif. ∆
    • Typeface Sans SerifTuesday, October 30, 2012Here are some familiar san serif fonts. —— Typically, san serif typefaces are good forheadlines and small blocks of text. ∆
    • Typeface SerifTuesday, October 30, 2012Here are some familiar serif fonts. —— Typically, serif typefaces are good for use in largerblocks of text. While there are certainly exceptions, books, newspapers, and magazines aretraditionally set using serif type. ∆
    • Typeface WeightsTuesday, October 30, 2012Here are some familiar fonts in different weights. —— Selecting the proper weight for aspecific purpose affects both the legibility of your text and the impact you are trying toachieve. —— Squint your eyes and you can see that weights at both ends of the extremes willrequire careful use to be effective.—— —— ∆
    • Typeface Style - ItalicTuesday, October 30, 2012Here are the slanted fonts of some familiar typefaces. —— Typically in panel and labeldesign, slanted fonts should be limited to foreign language words such as scientific names.—— You should definitely avoid using slated fonts in an attempt to emphasize the meaningof text. ∆
    • Typeface Style - CondensedTuesday, October 30, 2012Here are the condensed fonts of some familiar typefaces. —— Similar to working with fontweights, condensed fonts should be carefully selected and used.—— You should avoid usingcondensed or compressed fonts to accommodate an overly-wordy chunk of text on a smalllabel. ∆
    • Type CaseTuesday, October 30, 2012Most typefaces that are appropriate for panel and label design have both upper and lowercase characters. ∆
    • Type Case Uppercase TitleTuesday, October 30, 2012Title and headings can be effective when set in all upper case letters. ∆
    • Type Case Lowercase TitleTuesday, October 30, 2012Title and headings can also be effective when set in what is referred to as lower case title.—— Typically the first letter of every word, except prepositions and conjunctions, arecapitalized. ∆
    • Type Case Uppercase Body CopyTuesday, October 30, 2012—— Pretty much all I have to say about using all caps for body text is ∆
    • Type Case Uppercase Body CopyTuesday, October 30, 2012Don’t do it.
    • Type Case A Good ExampleTuesday, October 30, 2012Here is some effectively set text. —— The title is Frutiger Bold set in 60 point lowercase title,left aligned. The body is Garamond Regular set in 36 point, sentence text, left aligned withragged right. ---- The peaks and valleys of the upper and lower case letter forms carry theeye along the lines of text. ∆
    • Type SizeTuesday, October 30, 2012——
    • Type Size Type HeightsTuesday, October 30, 2012How tall should the type be in which block of text. ∆
    • Type Size Type HeightsTuesday, October 30, 2012This is a rough guide for appropriate type sizes for a few typical viewing distances —— It isalways a good idea to mock up a few sign types to view in the wild before committing to anyfinal determination of type. ∆
    • Type Size Type HierarchyTuesday, October 30, 2012This slide shows a mockup of a sign type for testing out in the wild. —— When planning yourdesign, it’s important to work out how you’re going to identify hierarchy and structure. Howbig or how bold should the title/headline be? What about sub-headings, body copy or figurecaptions? —— Remember that using different typefaces can help you create distinctionsbetween different text levels. You can combine different typefaces to create both classicaland contemporary layouts. —— Avoid using too many typefaces. ——Creating a logicalhierarchy in your designs will make them easier to scan and read. ——∆
    • Type ContrastTuesday, October 30, 2012——
    • Type Contrast Type and Background ColorTuesday, October 30, 2012Always take care to provide enough contrast between type and the background color orimage for legibility. Differences between foreground and background colors on labels orpanels should be exaggerated. —— Characters and symbols should contrast with theirbackground, either dark characters on a light background or light characters on a darkbackground. A minimum of 70% contrast is recommended. Always check that your colorsprovide adequate contrast when viewed by those who may be color blind. ∆
    • Type Contrast Type and Background ColorTuesday, October 30, 2012Placing text over images or patterns forces readers’ eyes to constantly adjust to varyingcontrasts. Use screens or place text over solid background with 70% contrast to text. ——Avoid using red and green against each other as text and background, as persons with red-green color deficiencies (the most common color deficiency) are not able to easily distinguishbetween the two. ∆
    • Type Contrast Reverse TypeTuesday, October 30, 2012Reverse type is light colored type on a darker background. —— It is very popular, but using itrequires careful design or the results will be extremely hard to read. —— Regardless ofmastery of the techniques, you should use reverse type sparingly. ∆
    • Line LengthTuesday, October 30, 2012——
    • Line Length Make it Easy to ReadTuesday, October 30, 2012Its all about making it easy to read —— Since you only have a few seconds to engage thereader, using appropriate lengths for lines of text makes it easy for them to get there. ∆
    • Line Length Word CountTuesday, October 30, 2012To a reader’s eye, too long or too of short lines can be distracting and exhausting. ——Maintaining a line length between 45 and 60 characters is optimal, or sentences of about 18words.----- Margins flush left and ragged right is optimal. This alignment complements thenatural way we read text in western culture. When done correctly, it is one of the biggestfactors in improved readability. ∆
    • Line Length AlignmentTuesday, October 30, 2012While text with fully justified alignment looks really neat and tidy, it can be harder to readbecause there are less visual cues for the reader to easily tell the difference between thetermination of a line of text and the end of a sentence. The varied spacing which can appearbetween words in order to keep the right edge of the lines of text aligned also hampers quickreading comprehension. ∆
    • Line Length ColumnsTuesday, October 30, 2012The intent of this slide is not for you to read the text. Squint your eyes and see the cleardifference between the upper and lower chunks of the example text. —— When columns oftext are used, the gutter, the space between columns, must be wide enough so viewers donot mistakenly read across columns. ∆
    • Line Length Widows and OrphansTuesday, October 30, 2012These definitions are from The Chicago Manual of Style ——WidowA paragraph-ENDING line that falls at the beginning of the following page/column, thusseparated from the rest of the text.——OrphanA paragraph-OPENING line that appears by itself at the bottom of a page/column.OR a word, part of a word, or very short line that appears by itself at the end of a paragraph.Orphans result in too much white space between paragraphs or at the bottom of a page. ∆
    • Line Length Widows and OrphansTuesday, October 30, 2012So, here we have two orphans and a widow. —— Knowing which is an orphan and which is awidow is far less important than knowing not to leave a single word by its self on a line oftext or to have only the first few words of a sentence alone at either the beginning or end of acolumn or page separated from the remainder of the sentence in the other column or page. ∆
    • Line Length Natural BreaksTuesday, October 30, 2012When possible, structure line breaks to reflect natural language pauses or phrases. Keephyphenated words together, and be vigilant against over-hyphenation of multi-syllablewords. Keep $, numbers and related items together. ∆
    • Letter SpacingTuesday, October 30, 2012For the sake of this discussion, letter spacing is a general term for both the vertical andhorizontal spacing of letters, words, and lines. ∆
    • Letter Spacing LeadingTuesday, October 30, 2012Leading is the space between the lines of type in a body of copy. Leading plays a big role inreadability. Correctly spaced lines make it easier for a reader to follow the type and improvesthe overall appearance of the text. Leading also alters typographic color, which is the densityor tone of a composition. —— ∆
    • Letter Spacing LeadingTuesday, October 30, 2012The more words you have in a line, the more leading you will need to maintain a pleasurablereading experience. If you increase word-spacing (the space between each word), you’ll haveto increase leading to improve the readability of the text block.Optimal leading is about 150–170% of the text height. Increasing leading can reduce the paceof a piece of text; it can slow the reader by introducing more white space. Too much leadingcan cause continuity problems, as the eyes of the reader are required to travel a greaterdistance between lines of text. ∆
    • Letter Spacing TrackingTuesday, October 30, 2012Tracking is the amount of space between each character in a group of characters. ——Tracking can be described as being loose or tight. Loosely tracked text has more spacebetween each character. In tightly tracked text there is less space between the characters.——Tracking has similar guidelines as leading, and all of these best practices are tied toreadability. —— ∆
    • Letter Spacing KerningTuesday, October 30, 2012Kerning describes the amount of space between two characters. —— There is often confusionbetween tracking and kerning. Tracking affects the space between all of the characters in agroup of characters. Kerning is the amount of space between two specific characters. ——Kerning is the art of adjusting the space between characters so that the eye can flow easilyacross the copy without being distracted by discrepancies. Remember: good typography isnever noticed. ∆
    • Keys to Success Attracting Attention Through Visuals TYPEFACE TYPE CASE CONTRAST LINE LENGTH LETTER SPACINGTuesday, October 30, 2012When you have successfully addressed all of these keys, the next step is to create this —— ∆
    • Type Style GuideTuesday, October 30, 2012a type style guide. This document is a record of all of the type and color choices made forevery text element of the project. This tool will be a valuable asset to everyone on your team.————∆
    • Tuesday, October 30, 2012————
    • Tuesday, October 30, 2012Some of the typography rules I’ve discussed may seem rigid, but theyve been proven overtime. —— Study them and develop an understanding of why they work. —— What we havecovered are good starting points. —— Exhibit labels, a web page, electronic IDs, and bannerswill all have their own unique objectives and considerations.—— External influences, such asthe surrounding environmental design, identity guidelines, and client approval, WILL alterhow you approach the type, as well. — Above all, if you design what will be easy for thevisitor to read, you will have done a good job——∆
    • Thank You! “To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit; it is to add value and meaning, to clarify, to modify, to dignify, to dramatize, to persuade, and perhaps to amuse. To design is to transform prose into poetry.” ~ Paul RandTuesday, October 30, 2012Thank you for your time and attention. —— Hopefully you’ve learned something interestingthat will help you create more readable text.