Module: Fine Typography
“Good typography” is the minimum acceptable solution; “fine typography” is what we aspire to. It includes things like hanging punctuation, using small capitals and creating “invisible” rags. Sections in this module provide the basis for the best typographic design.
Oldstyle figures are a style of numeral which approximate lowercase letterforms by having an x-height and varying ascenders and descenders. They are considerably different from the more common “lining” (or “aligning”) figures which are all-cap height and typically monospaced in text faces so that they line up vertically on charts.
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.
Using Alternate Characters
Swash characters are variations of the standard, default characters in a typeface. They are designed as options for customizing the look and personality of both text and display settings. More and more typefaces are designed with alternate characters, thanks to the expanded character capacity of OpenType® technology.
Using Swash Characters
Swash characters are those with embellishments that extend off the standard character. A swash character is usually – but not always – an alternate to the regular, unadorned default letterform. More and more typefaces are designed with swash characters, thanks to the expanded character capacity of OpenType® technology.
Hanging (or hung) punctuation refers to the practice of extending certain punctuation marks into the margin of a flush edge of text, to give the appearance of a more uniform vertical alignment.
Locating Alternate Glyphs
Given the expanded capacity of OpenType® fonts to accommodate thousands of characters, finding the ones you want can be challenging. But finding the ones you want is only an issue if you know they are there in the first place.