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. They serve the same purpose in the digital realm as in print media at the end of eBooks as well as at the conclusion of blocks of text or articles.
Whether on the Web or a printed page, an end mark can be decorative as well as informative. End marks can be as minimal as a circle, square, or other simple geometric shape; or as elaborate as a logo or wordmark, either of which can serve to reinforce a brand identity. The dingbats included with most operating systems such as the ITC Zapf Dingbats®, Webdings™ and Wingdings™ fonts are a good source of graphics that work well as end marks. Additional options can be found among the ornaments and other decorative glyphs included in some OpenType® fonts. Design fonts, stand-alone image files, and even clip art may provide functional and attractive elements. Basically any small graphic that will retain its clarity at the required size and resolution can make an effective end mark. (B&C)
When choosing and using end marks:
- Select a mark that is uncomplicated in design.
- Experiment with flipping or rotating a mark to enhance its appearance.
- Size the end mark in relation to the text directly preceding it. It might optically match the cap or x-height, or it might be more pleasing at a smaller scale.
- Consider using color for contrast.
- Adjust its spacing and alignment (both horizontal and vertical position) to be optically balanced. (D)
End marks, whether playful or sophisticated, are an effective way to cue the reader to the end of an article, as well as to add a bit of visual interest. Be sure to keep your chosen mark clean and clear for the best effect.
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- Editor’s Note:Ilene Strizver, founder of The Type Studio, is a typographic consultant, designer and writer specializing in all aspects of typographic communication. She conducts Gourmet Typography workshops internationally. Read more about typography in her latest literary effort, Type Rules! The designer's guide to professional typography, 4th edition, published by Wiley & Sons, Inc. This article was commissioned and approved by Monotype Imaging Inc.