My type tips

26Sep07

Here’s a list of things I have noticed with your designs that could be improved.

1. Line length too long. The standard says that about 60-75 characters per line is a comfortable reading length, this includes word spaces. Highlight a line of your text and go to the info palette. How many do you have? If you have too many, you can either reduce the size of your columns or increase the leading. A longer line length needs more space before the next line. Try adding 2pts to your leading.

2. Not enough space in the margins and gutters. You should let your text breathe. Give yourself wide margins and wide enough gutters so that the reader does not get overwhelmed. My usual margins are around 20mm, usually more at the bottom and the sides. Increase your gutters to 6mm, especially if you have justified text. At the moment, many of you have your text columns too close to one another.

3. Point size too big. A usual text size is 9.5pt, sometimes 10pt. It’s usually never 12pt, unless the text is aimed at older readers. Try 9.5pt on 13pt leading.

4. Headline writing. I know, I know, you are doing a graphic design course not a literary degree, but please take some care when you are writing your headlines and introductions. This is the first impression your readers will have of the tone of the article, so don’t get it wrong. Ask your parents for help as they are usually much better at grammar than you. If they are not crash hot at English, then ask me or the English skills co-ordinator Mauricio.

5. Hyphenation. Don’t hyphenate headlines or introductions. Don’t hyphenate ragged text. If you must hyphenate your justified text, be sure to check OFF the box that says “hyphenate Capital words” – you don’t want to hyphenate places or people’s name.

6. Body copy. If you can’t find a suitable article, please use text from another article NOT Latin text. I am unable to read the Latin, so it gives a wrong impression of the success of the typography.

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