Typography | Basics

Glossary

What’s in a Letter
Every serious subject has a language of its own. Typography is no exception. The following diagram shows a few terms used to talk about letterforms. Many more appear in this Glossary of Typographic Terms. These terms let you discuss type like an expert.

alignment
The positioning of text within the page margins. Alignment can be flush left, flush right, justified, or centered. Flush left and flush right are sometimes referred to as left justified and right justified. Continue reading

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Typography | Basics

Type for web

Consider this:

A fax in normal mode has a resolution of 100 dpi – slightly more than that of the screen on a Windows computer, and over 25% higher resolution than a Macintosh screen. This means that the lowly fax has better resolution than the most sophisticated Web site. Are there fonts which are better than others to overcome the drawbacks of low screen resolution? Are there fonts ideally suited to creating dynamic web graphics? You bet! These three basic rules will help you choose the right font for your web site: Continue reading

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Typography | Basics

Type groups

There are more than 7,000 typefaces available in the Linotype Library. These include a number of best selling old and new original typefaces which were created for Linotype by some of the world’s most renowned type designers. This very wide choice can seem rather daunting, particularly if you depend entirely on your own subjective taste. But there are some practical considerations which can help you in choosing a typeface for a particular job. Continue reading
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Typography | Basics

Typesetting tips

Bullets
A single, consistently used graphic element can add flavor to your document and highlight key points. Instead of the standard bullet, look through symbol faces for an ornament that matches your message. If your document is clean and simple and you have only a few bullet points, an ornament will add interest. Be careful not to clutter your document. Continue reading

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Typography | Basics

Combining typefaces

Almost all publications will contain headlines and body copy, or at least subordinate textual information. Commonly you’ll need or want to use different typefaces for the various levels of information in the publication. This presents a new problem—how do you effectively combine typefaces within a publication?

There are several possible outcomes when you combine typefaces in a publication—they may complement one another, contrast with one another, or conflict with one another. The first two outcomes are usually good, the last one is usually bad. Continue reading

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Typography | Basics

Choosing typefaces

With literally thousands of typefaces readily available it would be logical to ask “How do I go about choosing (and using) the best typeface—or combination of typefaces—for my publication?”

Unfortunately, there’s no simple and quick answer to this question— the choice of what’s best will vary with several factors, including the intended audience and their aesthetic values, the tone or attitude you’re trying to convey, the medium you’re designing for, and the content of the publication. Continue reading

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Typography | Basics

Copyfitting

Copyfitting is the process of deciding which typeface, point size, leading (line spacing), and line length are necessary to fit a certain amount of text into a given space. With careful planning, these choices need only be made once, at the beginning of a job.

It is important to understand how each of these choices affects readability. In general, text becomes less readable as the typeface becomes too condensed or too extended, point size becomes smaller, leading becomes tighter, or line length becomes longer.

If you find yourself forced to use 6-point Helvetica* Compressed Ultra with 6-point leading, it is time to start editing!

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