TYPOGRAPHY

33 LAWS OF GOOD TYPOGRAPHY

(from Jill Butler’s Lynda.com tutorial)

 FORMATTING A DOCUMENT

  1. Distrust default software settings
  2. Ensure good contrast between text and background
  3. Avoid chart junk and page junk
  4. Enforce a consistent style within a document
  5. Maintain a visual hierarchy
  6. Group related page elements

FORMATTING LARGE BODIES OF TEXT

  1. Printed body text from 9à 11 points
  2. Set body text two to three alphabets wide
  3. Favour flush-left, rugged right body text
  4. Separate sentences with one space, not two
  5. Don’t allow less than seven characters on a line
  6. Avoid bad paragraph breaks
  7. Avoid line-breaking hyphens
  8. Signal new paragraphs once, not twice
  9. Break up large blocks of text

FORMATTING SMALLER BLOCKS OF TEXT

  1. Emphasise ten percent or less of text
  2. Avoid all caps and underlined text
  3. Set acronyms and initialisms in small caps
  4. Hang punctuation in small chunks of text
  5. Hang bullets and numbers in lists
  6. Avoid bad line breaks
  7. Use symbols and special characters as needed
  8. Use proportional old-style figures in body text
  9. Adjust learning and kerning for large text
  10. Verify software alignments optically

USING PUNCTUATION PROPERLY

  1. Connect thoughts, using em dashes
  2. Show ranges, using en dashes
  3. Clarify, and improve readability, using hyphens
  4. Designate feet and inches, with prime symbols
  5. Replace missing characters with apostrophes

CHOOSING TYPEFACES

  1. Limit typefaces to two per document
  2. Use typefaces that reinforce a document’s mood
  3. Choose serif or sans serif, based on aesthetics