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15 TYPE RULES (Intro to GD, Wk 11)


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Week 11, 15 Type Rules

Presentation from Introduction to Graphic Design, Columbia College Chicago. Much of the content taken from readings, including the textbooks: Timothy Samara's "Design Elements" and "Design Evolution." Other references cited in presentation. Please note: many slides are intended for class discussion and might not make sense out of context.

Published in: Design, Education

15 TYPE RULES (Intro to GD, Wk 11)

  1. 1. 15 TYPE RULES & TIPS
  2. 2. Smooth roads, soft beds, large windows, and sound-proof walls spell comfort to the average human being. The same feelings may be applied to optimum reading comfort of the printed word: suitable paper, sharp printing, well-justified composition, and clean, open, universally recognized letterforms guarantee optimum legibility. —Adrian Frutiger
  3. 3. “Legibility” is based on the ease with which one letter can be told from the other. “Readability” is the ease with which the eye can absorb the message and move along the line. —from ‘Types of Typefaces,’ by J. Ben Lieberman, 1967
  4. 4. 1. LEGIBILITY Legibility refers to a reader’s ability to easily recognize letterforms and the word forms built from them. We don’t read by recognizing one letter at a time, but by recognizing the shapes of whole words and phrases.
  5. 5. 1 . L E G I B I L I T Y FA C T O R S Type size is the most abused legibility attribute.
  6. 6. 1 . L E G I B I L I T Y FA C T O R S Text type has a greater need for legibility than display type because text type is smaller, so character and word recognition is made more difficult.
  7. 7. 1 . L E G I B I L I T Y FA C T O R S Type’s legibility is determined in part by the spaces within and immediately surrounding each character. As type’s size gets smaller, the spaces must be increased.
  8. 8. 1 . L E G I B I L I T Y FA C T O R S The alphabet has four shapes: vertical, round, vertical/round combination, and angular. Letters in each group can be mistaken for another: choose a typeface where distinctions are clear.
  9. 9. 2. READABILITY Readability refers to the facility and comfort with which text can be comprehended. Text with good readability must also be legible, but more legibility doesn’t make text readable.
  10. 10. 2 . R E A D A B I L I T Y FA C T O R S Optimal text size is 10 to 11 pt. Medium weight produces maximum legibility: the relationship of letterforms to counter spaces is balanced. Paragraphs of italic text are harder to read than roman. Optimal line length is two alphabets (52 characters). Optimal letterspacing is invisible. Wordspacing should be sufficient to separate words but not so much that it weakens lines of type.
  11. 11. 2 . R E A D A B I L I T Y FA C T O R S Linespacing should increase with line length. Alignment: Consistent word spacing makes flush left easier to read than justified type. Type color and background: Black on white is about twice as fast to read as white on black. Reducing contrast between type and back ground causes loss in legibility and readership. Readers prefer serif faces for text reading. High gloss paper makes images look great but makes type hard to read.
  12. 12. 2. READABILITY
  13. 13. 2. READABILITY (exerpt from Ellen Lupton’s Thinking in Type)
  14. 14. 2. READABILITY (exerpt from Ellen Lupton’s Thinking in Type)
  15. 15. 2. READABILITY
  16. 16. 2. READABILITY
  17. 17. 2. READABILITY
  18. 18. 3. DASHES
  19. 19. 4. TYPOGRAPHERS QUOTES Apostrophe vs prime, quotes vs inches. Straight or “dumb quotes” vs typographer, smart, or curly quotes.
  20. 20. 5. ELLIPSES An ellipses indicates omission and is also called a suspension point, or more commonly, dot-dot-dot. When the omitted words are within a sentence, use a three-dot ellipsis preceded and followed by a space. The ellipses is not three periods, but a special character that is found under the type menu under “Insert Special Character.”
  21. 21. 6 . W H I T E S PA C E C H A R A C T E R S Letterspace, em space, tabs. (see also, hair space, non-breaking space, thin space, figure space, punctuation space).
  22. 22. 7 . D O U B L E S PA C E Use only one space after periods. Never hit the space bar more than once.
  23. 23. 8. DOUBLE RETURNS Use space before and space after to create extra space between paragraph-level elements.
  24. 24. 9 . PA R A G R A P H S H A P E Soft line breaks allow you to start a new line without starting a new paragraph. This will avoid creating a new paragraph that takes on the potentially unwanted formatting attributes of the paragraph that it came from. You create a line break by holding down the shift key when pressing return.
  25. 25. If using flush-left alignment, keep and eye on excessive rags on the right- hand side, as well as unnatural repetition and alignment at the end of lines. If using justified text, be sure to avoid rivers—uneven and excessive spacing between words.
  26. 26. Also be sure to shape your headlines as well.
  27. 27. 10. FRACTIONS A single space should be used after periods. Fractions should normally be set as shown on the right. Most of the common fractions should be build into the font, and can be accessed in the “Glyphs” palettes under the “Type” menu. Besides fractions, other numerical signs, like the multiplication sign, might also be hidden in the font’s glyph set.
  28. 28. 11. WIDOWS before after Widows and orphans can be corrected by discriminating tracking, line breaks (soft returns), and, if possible, copy editing.
  29. 29. 12. ORPHANS Representative Roscoe G. Bartlett legislation. is confident that in voting against a $35 billion expansion of the The struggle here in Frederick County, State Children’s Health Insurance a crossroads of the Civil War, not far Program, he reflected the views of his from Antietam and Gettysburg, is a conservative Congressional district in microcosm of national debate over western Maryland. But some of his the child health bill. constituents are not so sure. “Roscoe just looks mean and petty,” “It’s a good program,” said Edward said Amy-Catherine McEwan, a Wrzesinski Jr., a Republican who manager at the Frederick County manages Frederick Primary Care Humane Society. “He looks like Associates, a group practice with Snidely Whiplash, the cartoon villain, 24 doctors and eight offices. “It’s taking medicine away from little benefiting children.” kids.” Mr. Bartlett, a Republican, was the But Walter T. Mills, the proprietor of only member of the Maryland a barbershop here for 32 years, said delegation to vote against the bill, and he and many of his customers agreed he is coming under intense pressure to with Mr. Bartlett. switch sides as the House moves toward a vote next week on whether Mr. Mills, a Republican, summarized to override President Bush’s veto of the the reasons for his opposition to the
  30. 30. 13. LINING AND NON-LINING FIGURES AKA Arabic and old style/lowercase/hanging numerals. Arabic numerals are the familar digits used in arithmetic; they all have the same height and all stand on the baseline. Normally, they all have the same width, for better alignment in tabular work. Old style numerals contain characters that have descenders and are only as tall as the face’s x- height. They are used like small caps—they blend in better when used in running text, and have more interesting shapes than lining figures. However, they typically have unique character widths, making them usually unsuitable for tabular work. The third type of numerals are roman numerals (I, IV, XIIXV).
  31. 31. 1 4 . PA R A G R A P H L E N G T H On average, line measures should be between 35–65 characters long.
  32. 32. 1 5 . D O N ’ T U S E D E FA U LT S — at least not all of the time, but some settings should always be considered for adjustment, such as tabs, line spacing, and bullets. Kerning and tracking settings should be adjusted in some situations, as with large or small type, all caps, italics, and special characters.