Questions about the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. Text is composed to create a readable, coherent, and visually satisfying whole.

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9
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3answers
1k views

Critique: Any advice on the design of my systems engineering résumé?

So I'm creating a résumé for Engineering/Design/Computer Science internships, so I guess I am allowed to be a bit creative and less conservative here. I was working on this all day ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the best practices and techniques to fix rags?

What would be the best practices to fix the rags on a left aligned text for print. Besides breaking lines and hyphenations, should you use tracking, and if so how much. Also, how would you judged a ...
9
votes
1answer
263 views

Can the end of double spacing after periods be dated?

From this Slate article: Hundreds of years ago some typesetters would end sentences with a double space, others would use a single space, and a few renegades would use three or four spaces. ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Readability and appeal of justified text

If I write a document that I have to hand in to somebody (a report, summary, draft, whatever) I usually justify the text because it seems more appealing (at least to me) if it all finishes at the same ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What are some typefaces to pair with Bauhaus?

I have been given a small web project for an ecommerce store. The logo uses Bauhaus 93 and I am struggling to find good fonts to pair with this. Image borrowed from Identifont Particularly I would ...
8
votes
3answers
489 views

What is the name for making words equal in length?

I'm trying to find the name or ("term") for this: What is it called when the size of individual or groups of words are increased proportionally in size so that they are all the same width?
8
votes
1answer
224 views

How typographers make bolder/lighter versions of their fonts?

I suppose in older times typographers had to redraw the entire character set, but I'd guess there's some good heuristics to make a character bolder/lighter in software and then make some manual ...
8
votes
4answers
360 views

Is there a typographical term for vertically-stacked characters?

I recently discovered this type technique in the July/August edition of Little White Lies Magazine. Here's an example of the typography: I wish to know, is there a term for the technique of ...
8
votes
4answers
409 views

What are good general typeface principles based on target audience age?

Everyone knows that as people get older their vision deteriorates. At 20 years old, few have trouble seeing and reading 8 or 9pt type in print or 10-11px type on the web. However, the older an ...
8
votes
2answers
307 views

Origin of numerical font weight descriptions in typography

The CSS specification (among several others) establish that, when selecting a font, the font-weight may be described using numerical descriptors ranging from 100 to 900 at 100 increments, where 400 is ...
8
votes
3answers
177 views

The role of the designer in content – should he have one and how big should it be?

I'm a designer, not a marketer, and not a writer (at least not professionally). A lot of the work I do involves working with material in a field that can be above my head. Because of that, I'm content ...
8
votes
2answers
829 views

Footnote typographic conventions

Are there any typographic conventions/advice relating to footnotes? For example: When should numbers be used and when symbols? Should the footnote symbol be superscript in the body text and at the ...
8
votes
2answers
163 views

Making a typeface – should I check if it resembles any non-free or copyrighted typefaces?

I want to make a typeface that I would also let others to download if they happen to like it. But if I use it on the net, and if I also let other people using it, can I have copyright problems? It’s ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Recommended column width for text reading, digital vs printed

Coming form a digital background, I have often read different kinds of suggestions (for example 35-50 ems) for how wide a column of body text should be to still maintain a good readability. Is there ...
8
votes
2answers
813 views

Ascender and descender heights: all equal?

Are all ascender and descender heights typically equal in well-designed typefaces? Does using identical ascenders and descenders increase readability, or is it not an issue at all?
8
votes
4answers
900 views

Writing text with character variations

I am looking for alternatives to hand-lettering a Comic. One attractive alternative would be building a custom font. (I'll be asking about details on that in a separate question.) However, I would ...
8
votes
4answers
18k views

How to subtract text from a shape in Illustrator?

So I've made a rectangle, and I want to cut some text out of it, so that the text will appear as the background pattern. I expected to be able to achieve this by selecting the rectangle and the ...
8
votes
1answer
88 views

Does ideal measure change with language?

The ideal measure for single column of text is most widely accepted as around 65 characters, but does this depend on the language of the text? Some languages like French have much longer words than ...
7
votes
3answers
828 views

Connecting A and T in a custom typographic mark

I don't have a lot of examples of "Look at me, I drew all the letters!" typography. But here is one, and I'm happy with the overall sketch and like everything but the first two letters. I dislike ...
7
votes
4answers
285 views

Double space acceptable after period before abbreviated title?

It seems accepted amongst typographers that the double space after a period is a dated artifact of monospace typewriters, but is it acceptable to use a double space in between sentences like: I ...
7
votes
1answer
344 views

Font design and typographic choices for dyslexic readers?

I recently stumbled on a font designed specifically for dyslexic readers (OpenDyslexic). It explains how it works like so: Letters have heavy weighted bottoms to add a kind of "gravity" to each ...
7
votes
4answers
161 views

Proper typesetting guide

Is there a typesetting guide for English on the web somewhere, whether UK or American or both? I’m thinking of something with rules for correct hyphenation, punctuation, dashes, commas, correct ...
7
votes
3answers
555 views

What does BE and BQ stand for (or mean) on a font name?

I have noticed that some fonts have the letters BE or BQ appended to their name. What does this mean? Is this a standard code for some features of the font? Extra glyphs perhaps? Or is this just a ...
7
votes
3answers
272 views

Do you have a “formula” for the webfont vs graphic type threshold?

Disclaimer: I realize there is not a perfect "formula" for this question. I'm looking for your experiential working practices. If you don't have any, I won't hold it against you. Over the last ...
7
votes
3answers
264 views

Any automated system to compute the linear length of a letter(s) in a word or phrase?

I may be way out of league asking this question but is there a way to get the linear length of a letter or words. That is, if you were to take the word "super" and measured the outside border of the ...
7
votes
3answers
231 views

What skills, techniques or methods can I use to help teach my child typography?

I'm teaching my child, who is 5, how to write and I wondered if it would be a bad idea to teach the foundations of typography and if any skills or techniques exist for children that can help show them ...
7
votes
1answer
103 views

How wide should the word space after nobiliary particles be? (von, de la, …)

Is it preferable to write a thin space after nobiliary particles (von, de la, …)? Does for example Miguel de\,Cervantes y\,Saavedra look better than the standard width spaced equivalent?
7
votes
1answer
280 views

Symbols “degrees” and “degrees centigrade”: proper spacing

For mathematical and physical units, usually there is a thin space between the number and the unit, in the LaTeX syntax for example $1008\,\mathrm{kPa}$. However, I feel that angular degrees (e.g. ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

On which sites can I sell fonts I've created?

I made a typeface that I would like to sell non-exclusively on several online stores. I have been searching and found a few nice outlets so far. What are the font shops you know of? Where do you ...
7
votes
3answers
282 views

The selection and use of typefaces for the non-designer

I am looking for a short, concise resource that will help me better choose and use typefaces. I think the ideal resource would have a thoughtfully chosen list of about a dozen of the most important ...
7
votes
2answers
139 views

What is the name for the long dashes that sometimes replace the inner letters of a name?

What is the name for the long dashes that sometimes replace the inner letters of a name in older printed texts, and what is their purpose? Image source: Wikimedia Commons
7
votes
1answer
737 views

How to construct “lowercase digits” (i.e. text figures)?

Is there an accepted way to adjust font glyphs in order to simulate text figures? Background Text figures are "lowercase" digits. You normally use lowercase digits where you also use lowercase ...
7
votes
2answers
114 views

Is there a term for 'reference-marker symbols'?

While this is loosely graphic-design related, when doing design for some kind of annotations, one have to work with symbols used as 'reference markers', such as 1 in foo 1. When you need to discuss ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How to find open source alternatives to commercial fonts?

What is the best way to find an open source alternative to a commercial font? I was thinking as some service as alternativeto.net or a whatthefont.com that would spit out fonts that are similar to the ...
7
votes
3answers
146 views

What are the best widely-distibuted typefaces when I don't have access to commercial alternatives?

I frequently find myself producing printed material without the luxury of using commercial typefaces. What typefaces typically installed with operating systems or software applications are good ...
7
votes
3answers
12k views

What can I do with AFM - Adobe font metrics file?

I received zip containing font in .afm format. Is this some sort of source-code of a font that can be converted TTF/OTF or so? How can I actually read and use this file?
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How does random choice of alternate characters work in OpenType fonts?

I have a question similar to “Writing text with character variations”: I would like to create a casual hand-written-style font, that reproduces the natural variety between occurrences of the same ...
6
votes
5answers
628 views

What are beginner’s books on typography?

Hum, for some reason I would like to buy myself a book about typography. I have a lot of interest in this field, and already have some knowledge learnt from reading Typophile now and then, among other ...
6
votes
4answers
14k views

What are the more respected sans serif fonts that come standard on most computers?

I've been tasked with making a powerpoint theme for the company I work for and one of the requirements is that it uses a font that comes standard with most computers. What are some of the built-in ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

A good monospace, condensed and open-source typeface?

I'm looking for an optimal typeface for report tables that will contain many columns (the reason for condensed). The reason for monospace is that these reports will contain a lot of numbers and we ...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

How do I create a solid line of uniform thickness inside of a letterform in Illustrator?

I've seen all sorts of headlines and ads that use this style a solid color section of type has a solid uniform line of a different color running through the exact middle of each letter. I've done all ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Different Logo Colors for Different Uses, Appropriate?

I am finalizing the last step of my logo redesign process. Is it ok not to have a regular color when presenting my logo? I am thinking about having a defined list of colors for different use cases ...
6
votes
7answers
765 views

Building hand-written fonts for lettering

I am looking to build a custom font from my handwriting for lettering a comic. what professional tools exist to build such a font and export it into one of the mainstream formats (TTF, OpenType, or ...
6
votes
5answers
282 views

Is there a way to create gradations between two given weights of a particular font?

Was doing some reading and came across this which I found very insightful: Weight This is the difference between bold typefaces or versions of a typeface, and regular typefaces or versions ...
6
votes
3answers
719 views

What's wrong with Droid fonts?

I have seen on various places that people consider Droid font family with contempt. In latest Android it has been replaced with another family called Roboto. I'm interested in why is that, from ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Resources for finding good web font schemes/combinations

I have started doing some freelance website design work for small business clients, and part of my work will involve selecting fonts to use on the sites that I will be making. Given that typography ...
6
votes
3answers
755 views

How to calculate the best type colour for a random background colour?

I might need to present content at multiple levels depending on the distance of the observer to a display. Let's say from far away the user perceives a flat colour, but from a close distance the user ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the ideal number of font sizes to use for a website?

I'd like to know how many font sizes can you use for a website. Someone said to me it's better not to use more than 3 different font sizes (e.g. 16px for heading, 11px for text and 13 px for smaller ...
6
votes
3answers
270 views

Designing for a 6in x 9in book

I am putting a text heavy book together, 6in x 9in paper size. (Perhaps related are this and this link.) Now I look for good font pairings (nice examples are here) and margin settings and line ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Vertical rhythm/baseline grid in Web Design

I recently read some articles about the importance of good vertical rhythm/using a baseline grid for good typography in web design. I decided to try using a baseline grid, like the 960 grid pictured ...