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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50
votes
7answers
3k views

What are best practices for choosing and pairing fonts?

I've always found font selection to be a little bit of a mystery. What factors should be considered when choosing a font? How does one successfully incorporate two fonts into a design? I realize that ...
31
votes
6answers
81k views

What font types are good for a technical document?

What are some good fonts to use for a highly technical document? Is there any specific type that should be used/avoided?
34
votes
8answers
8k views

“Serifs improve fast, easy readability for long text” - myth or truth?

It's an old question, but an important one. Let's see if we can get a good, nuanced, ideally evidence-based answer. So, old-school wisdom (certainly, how I was taught back in the day) says that serif ...
36
votes
2answers
25k views

Difference between kerning vs letter spacing?

What is the difference between kerning vs. letter spacing?
19
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the difference between a font and a typeface?

Originally, the typeface is a particular design of type, while a font is a type in a particular size and weight. In short, a typeface usually gathers many fonts. Nowadays, with digit design of ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

What is kerning and what is the point of it?

From what I see here, it seems kerning is just rearranging the space between letters. However, the comments here lead me to believe there's more to the story. Is kerning really that simple? Is the ...
6
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

Examples of good academic poster design

Do you have any good examples of academic poster design? Most posters look exactly the same (I don't want to pick on anyone in particular), and from my experience at conferences, almost nobody reads ...
8
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
11k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k 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?
17
votes
8answers
7k views

Alternative to Lorem Ipsum (dummy text) for websites

Lorem Ipsum has been the known default for dummy text. Per a search the last discussion in regards to alternatives is two years old. I thought I would post a new thread on this topic. So, what are ...
21
votes
3answers
443 views

My Xylophone is off key; Understanding this kerning

I was playing a kerning game where the goal is to see if you can kern a word by eye and then compare your kerning with that of the designer. I was doing... ok. Until I got to: I kerned is as such: ...
18
votes
2answers
10k views

Optimum line height in relation to font size

Is there an agreement on what the optimum mathematical proportion of line height and the size of a text is? And if there is, is it the same for print and web?
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Does hyphenation increase legibility?

All I could find on the subject was this paper, which is pretty interesting in itself. But it only deals with preference. 57% of the test subject prefers hyphenated text. This is kind of surprising ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Why all the hate? --Two spaces after the period

The nuns enforced it with a ruler: two spaces after a period at the end of a sentence. I, along with many others do this instinctively. Why is this considered incorrect/improper in printed materials ...
11
votes
2answers
328 views

Kerning Feedback

I'm currently looking at a new font for a logo and I'm having some issues with the kerning of our lettering. I've search the web for guidance on kerning, in particular when using double lowercase ...
10
votes
2answers
21k views

Fonts for technical reports

I'm building an MS Word template for my reports. I am not sure what to use for fonts. I see lots of reports from clients and others using Arial, Verdana, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Calibri, Cambrai, ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

What do they call those scrolly, curvy elements next to chapter titles?

There's a name for this, and I even found a web site that helps you create such things for web sites, but I can't find or remember either. The element is on both sides of "Season 2014" on this web ...
5
votes
3answers
957 views

What is this style of text-as-image called?

I'm seeing a trend (especially on pinterest) of these posters where the image and subject is the text. THe text itself isn't really that important either, it's mainly the typefaces used and ...
8
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

what is the largest glyph width in Arial?

Im designing a DIV container that will contain some rows of text. Every row can contain 0 to 35 chars. I need to specify a fixed width for the div, but I cannot predict how "wide" the string can be. ...
37
votes
6answers
6k views

How can I describe the font I am looking for or looking at?

I have no experience regarding Graphic Design, so this is kind of a intro question. If I have a font I'd like to identify, but cannot describe the details/semantics of it, how would I explain it? ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Where do professional designers “go” to look for typefaces?

I'm just reading The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams and am very impressed how on almost every page, Ms. Williams seems to "pull out" some beautiful typeface which I've never heard of. ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

When should someone use ligatures?

What decisions and factors should be considered to determine when to use ligatures? Only in headings? Only in body? Purely by eye? I ask because about seven people looked over a poster design and ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Where should drop cap be suitable?

I wonder where drop caps should be used. So far, I only see them in column of newspaper. Are there any cases which drop caps shouldn't be used, like in scientific papers or brochures?
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Baseline Grid vs. Readability

Any designer worth their salt will talk about the importance of the grid, and rightfully so. However, as I've continued to practice my trade, I've found that the baseline grid in particular doesn't ...
9
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
13k views

How are Serif and Sans-serif fonts different, and when should one use one over the other?

What is the difference between these fonts, and what are some typical examples of why one might be used over another?
11
votes
3answers
2k views

How would I recreate this effect of text that seems to flow over a flight of stairs?

Is there nondestructive way of achieving the wavy type effect, found below?
7
votes
2answers
40k views

Footnote/Endnote references before or after punctuation? (comma, full stop/period, semi-colon…)

Simple question: what's the convention (or, if there's disagreement, guiding principles) for where to place reference, footnote and endnote numbers that apply to a clause leading up to a punctuation ...
3
votes
3answers
574 views

I want to learn how to select appropriate colors and fonts for a new site

I'm developing a new site, and although I know enough basic programming to make the site, I'm not artistically inclined enough to make the site look nice. So, I was hoping I could get some suggestions ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Do discretionary ligatures hold any other purpose than visual?

Discretionary ligatures are non-standard ligatures such as: st and ct in Atlantica LF font Are they purely visual or is there any other reasoning to back it up? Psychological? Letter-press related? ...
9
votes
7answers
1k views

How do you present typeface options to your team during a rebranding

The startup web dev shop I work for is maturing and all the design/branding decisions that were thrown together early on are being reconsidered (logo, typeface, colors, ect...) for a big rebranding. ...
8
votes
3answers
214 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
4answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
318 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
402 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Popular serif and sans-serif browser compatible font combinations?

I was curious as to which combinations of serif and sans-serif fonts are preferable to use that are compatible with most browsers. While I am aware that with the introduction of CSS3 importing ...
17
votes
1answer
322 views

What's the term used when the first word of one page is repeated at the end of the previous page?

There's a common feature in old typography where the first word of a page is repeated at the end of the previous page, usually right-aligned on a line by itself. This book from 1759 shows this ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

What's the practical difference between a 'glyph' and a 'character'?

I saw this question on the Typography site proposal and it bugged me that I didn't know the answer. I'd always treated 'glyph' and 'character' as interchangable. After reading an explanation on the ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

How should I position the letters in a square logo to read “H S S C”?

I am creating a logo using the acronym HSSC (High School Student Council). Here is the current logo. My question is: What is the best/proper arrangement of letters in this type of logo to read ...
11
votes
5answers
673 views

How do I deal with line spacing when a single descender is getting in the way?

I'm making a sign for my kids' school, and am having trouble with one detail. The primary text is "Walking School Bus Stop". This, the school name, and a whimsical graphic all go into a 3:4 aspect ...
8
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
364 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
459 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
4answers
9k views

What are great fonts for information-heavy data tables?

I'm designing a web application which has lots of data tables with business information both as numbers (sales, hours etc) and text (product names, region names etc). What fonts are great for dense ...
6
votes
2answers
508 views

When is font hinting used for print?

Following on from this question: TTF and other "modern" font systems, and font size differences Higher quality fonts contain hinting information, which in short better fits glyph boundaries ...
5
votes
4answers
372 views

Is it OK to use a smaller font size for credentials that come after someone's name on a business card?

I am designing new business cards for employees and many of them have several credentials after their name. To make them all "fit" do I bring the entire name and credential line down a point or can I ...
4
votes
3answers
396 views

Is it acceptable to use different but similar typefaces for print content and web content?

To be more specific, is it acceptable to have two different typefaces used for headers? One will be used for web content and the other for print or more static content where the type won't be at the ...