Module: Text Typography
From how to best emphasize copy to determining the optimum line length, this module covers the important aspects of basic text typography. The value of tight, even word spacing and the best way to indicate paragraphs are just two of the many topics covered.
When setting type, most of us are very conscious of type style, size, width and line spacing. Many of us also pay attention to letter spacing and kerning, even if we’re not as confident in these areas. But word spacing – the space between words – is probably the most neglected of typographic attributes.
Rags, Widows & Orphans
Rags, widows and orphans – sounds more like a Dickens novel than type! In spite of their odd names, these concepts are important to understand if good typography is your goal.
It's About Legibility
Typographic clarity comes in two flavors: legibility and readability. What’s the difference? Legibility is a function of typeface design. It’s an informal measure of how easy it is to distinguish one letter from another in a particular typeface. Readability, on the other hand, is dependent upon how the typeface is used. Readability is about typography. It is a gauge of how easily words, phrases and blocks of copy can be read.
We’ve all seen newspapers, books, magazine articles and ads which use justified type; that is, type that is flush on both the left and right margins. Used well, justified type can look clean and classy. When it’s carelessly set, however, justified type can make your text look distorted and hard to read. Proper justification is a tricky technique to master, but it’s well worth the effort if high quality, professional-looking typography is your goal.
Length & Column Width
Line length and column width are two typographic terms that are closely related. Line length is normally expressed by the number of characters or words per line. Column width is measured in units – be it inches, points, pixels, etc.
Uses of Bold Type in Text
Bold typefaces, as companions to regular text weights, did not become fashionable until the mid-19th century – bold type grew out of the Industrial Revolution and the birth of advertising.