Take the 2-minute tour ×
Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional graphic designers and non-designers trying to do their own graphic design. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In my recent project, playing with responsive web design, I've noticed that ampersand in my text landed at the beginning of a line with certain page widths. I personally find it a bit ugly...

I can put a non-breaking space between the word and ampersand to fix this.

Is there a typographic rule about ampersand placement with regards to beginning and end of line?

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Text should not contain an ampersand at all unless it's a brand such as
Procter & Gamble or Johnson & Johnson.

Ampersands within sentences are just poor, or at the very least lazy, grammar.

If the ampersand is indeed part of a brand, I would not break the brand on separate lines if at all possible.

share|improve this answer
2  
This is the generally rule for professional writing, though IMO there's some leeway in terms of article titles and other display text (I think it's consistent with ampersands being a stylistic choice in branding). –  Lèse majesté Feb 8 '13 at 10:55
3  
Relevant but doesn't quite answer the question: If your text contains "Stock prices for Arthur Somebrand & Sons Robotic Supplies Technology dropped sharply following the news", where preventing the whole brand name breaking isn't an option, and where fluid widths limit type control, should the text be set up (e.g. in html as Somebrand & Sons) so that it's impossible for the ampersand to start a line? –  user568458 Feb 8 '13 at 12:33
    
@user568458 Yes, that is exactly how I would handle it. –  Lauren Ipsum Feb 8 '13 at 17:37
1  
I would actually handle it via SomeBrand & Sons. As I posted in the answer (which I thought was relevant), I would try and avoid breaking the brand if possible. But that's my opinion. –  Scott Feb 8 '13 at 23:41
add comment

Regardless of @Scott's answer about the etiquette of avoiding ampersands in body text alltogther, there is a typographic recommendation to place connector words like "and" or "or" at the end of the line, not at the beginning of the new line. This helps to better connect the previous line to the next.

THIS IS A LONG HEADLINE AND
CONTINUES ON LINE TWO

is preferable to

THIS IS A LONG HEADLINE
AND CONTINUES ON LINE TWO

The same logic justifies also placing the ampersand at the end of the line. With an typographic element even more so this is a good practice, as a line starting with a symbol is less good for readability.

THIS IS A LONG HEADLINE &
CONTINUES ON LINE TWO

is preferable to

THIS IS A LONG HEADLINE
& CONTINUES ON LINE TWO

You can also test this by reading the first two sentences and leaving a conscious pause at the line break (where the eye of the reader has to find the next line). You'll notice that the "and" before the pause is more plausible than to end the line, pause, and start reading the new line with "and ...".

Obviously, those rules are not set in stone and always require context sensitive treatment. For example, you would avoid orphans (that is the typographc term of stubs of one or two words on a new line), like this:

THIS IS A LONG HEADLINE AND
ENDS

So all in all, my recommendation is, try avoid using the ampersand in body text, also try avoid splitting terms or names connected by an ampersand, and in if nothing else, at least keep the ampersand at the end of the line.

share|improve this answer
    
This is all true, though in the context of the web, we often have to let flexibility (ie, responsiveness) trump exact typographic rules of thumbs. –  DA01 May 16 '13 at 19:19
    
True, yet you can still set breaking point suggestions and nobrs that influence the typography in a reasonable manner. –  kontur May 17 '13 at 4:28
    
I don't at all agree with this. We always put the connector at the start of the next line so that the reader can understand instantly the connection to the previous line. Do you have a reference for this so-called "Typographic recommendation?" –  Ryan May 17 '13 at 11:30
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.