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.
Braces and Brackets
The character set of a typeface includes a broad range of punctuation marks. Among them are parentheses, braces and brackets. These three pairs of symbols all serve to enclose additional information words, numbers or symbols generally not essential to the meaning of the sentence or paragraph. Although all three marks share this function, they have specialized usages as well.
An end mark is a small graphic element placed at the end of a chapter, article or story. It provides a visual cue to the reader, signifying the end of a topic, section or piece. End marks are commonly used in magazines, newsletters, journals, and other publications containing multiple articles whose end point is not necessarily apparent to the reader.
Customizing Type Software Settings
There are many seemingly small, yet highly significant details that contribute to creating professional-looking typography, and in turn, good design. A number of these can be controlled with the settings of your software.
Breaking for Sense
Setting type has changed drastically from the days of metal and phototypesetting. The responsibility for composing type no longer lies with a highly skilled, dedicated typographer, but more often with a designer or production artist, who may not be trained in this skill.