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.
Word spacing is an important aspect of creating inviting, easy-to-read typography. This seemingly small detail plays a key role in establishing the color, texture and readability of a typographic communication.
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.
Kerning Text Type
In today’s digital world, kerning refers to the addition or reduction of space between two characters (or glyphs, to be typographically precise). Characters being kerned are referred to as a kern pair, and the amount of kerning can have either a negative or a positive value. Built-in kerning is key to the design of a typeface, due to the variety of shapes in our alphabet and how they combine.
Line Spacing For Text
The amount of vertical space between lines of type is referred to as line spacing or leading.
The setting up of columns is a key step in establishing the layout of a page or project containing running text. The number of columns, their alignment, and their location on the page can serve to create an effective typographic hierarchy, as well as contributing to readability and overall appeal. Deciding on a column configuration at the beginning of a project will help you visualize the effectiveness of the design concept – and save considerable time later in the process.
When we think of setting text, vertical columns of fixed width are what typically come to mind. While this is almost certainly the most common format, more creative approaches can enliven an otherwise traditional layout.
Paragraphs are an essential element of running text. They divide the content into logical, digestible bits, organizing the information, which in turn helps keep the reader engaged. Several ways of formatting paragraphs are widely used.
Including subheads in running text is a great way to attract and hold your reader’s interest. Subheads serve to preview and highlight the content by dividing it into readable chunks, making the text more inviting to scan and peruse selectively, especially for the hurried or restless reader.