Rules of Typography :: pdf
• One space after punctuation — no lie. The computer takes care of that.
• Keep it simple: two type faces for reading a lot of type or a major article. Generally one serif and one san serif font — serif for Body copy and san serif or 'crazy' for titles & sub–titles.
• Line length for paragraphs is generally 9 to 10 words or 60 to 70 characters. You know
• Body Copy (paragraphs) font size: 9 to 11 points. Don’t be afraid of 8 either, it’s just hard to read for a certain audiences. You determine based upon your audience.
• Leading (space between sentences) is equal to or a little bit greater then the font size by no more then 3 points. So if the font is 9 pt then the leading is generally 11. Do not use auto leading (number in parenthesis') in the programs, this is generally incorrect, too much and in decimal form.
• White space makes it a lot easier to read. Let the eye rest between reading and — spaces things out.
• Bullet stuff: the listing of key facts is a great way to increase breathing space, makes reading easier, and pulls out VIP items.
• Use headings and sub headings to gently guide the reader. Headings are around 16 to 24 or larger if needed for design purposes and the sub-headings are half and are often italicized. AKA: Titles and sub-titles.
• Kern as needed. Use kerning as way to move fonts that aren’t created that well, to separate the letters if they run into each other and vice versa. If the type has quote marks consider hanging the quote mark outside the text container.
• This is also true for paragraph spacing: space before or after to give breathing room. First line indents also do this nicely but don’t use the space before & after along with the first line indent, your reader isn’t stupid they know the end and the beginning of a paragraph without screaming it at them.
• Pick the alignment that matches the tone of your document. Left justification is easiest to read and control. Justified type will create a lot of what is called rivers and you’ll have to control. Justified type is great for small lists and small amounts of type.
• Don’t use all caps. Italics and Bold are good but not at the same time.
• Widows and orphans are a pain but need dealt with, they show novice status when used. What are they? The word or words left behind on a line or at the end of column all by itself. Oh so sad.
• Do not underline type with the underline option. This can be said for anything that is offered to bold or italics also. Check to see if the font offers bold or italic first and use it, if not faux away as needed. As far as the underlining goes? Use the paragraph rules.
• Em and en dashes — & – are used for authors, addresses, lists and let the hyphen be just that, a hyphen, to move words to the next line in the paragraph.
So these are the big dogs of type ‘rules’ and I use that term very loosely. I am all about breaking the rules, rules are subjective. Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb, test the waters of the wild and crazy. If there one rule I never break? Yes: readability. Why? No matter how crazy I like to go with my type design I always make sure it is readable. Know, understand, and use the rules first and then break them.