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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36
votes
6answers
117k 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?
39
votes
8answers
10k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
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 ...
37
votes
6answers
6k views

Aligning letters “Wrong” appears more “Right”

I'm currently working on a logo for a client. Here is the work in progress. It seems obvious to me that the S should align with the line above. I feel that the best way of aligning it however is to ...
32
votes
6answers
7k 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 the digital design of ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the name for making words equal in length?

I'm trying to find the term (if any exists) 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?
54
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 ...
44
votes
2answers
37k views

Difference between kerning vs letter spacing?

What is the difference between kerning vs. letter spacing?
21
votes
5answers
4k 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. (I'...
15
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
8k views

Examples of good academic poster design [closed]

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
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
965 views

Creating in PS a bleed for a die cut sticker

I am creating a album with stickers, each sticker is die cut and has a special place in the album. How do i create a bleed for each sticker that can be correctly interpreted by the machine that cuts ...
38
votes
6answers
11k 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? ...
21
votes
8answers
12k 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 ...
35
votes
3answers
76k views

What's the difference between opentype vs. truetype

I know very little about typography. What are the differences in terms of opentype vs truetype. I do know that they are types of formats to render fonts (correct me if i'm wrong). Are there ...
23
votes
3answers
525 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: ...
20
votes
2answers
12k 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?
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Principles of Typography for different languages

Sometimes German students ask me how to do the typesetting of documents in English, French or Spanish. I'm not able to help them because I never learned to speak or write French or Spanish. ...
22
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
19
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
30k 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, ...
11
votes
2answers
428 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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
11k 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
5answers
11k 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. ...
7
votes
6answers
18k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
526 views

Difference in glyphs of I and l

In many fonts I come across, I see that the glyph uppercase i - I is same as lowercase l. Why is it so? Why don't font designers add a differentiating factor between the two glyphs? This specially ...
5
votes
2answers
191 views

What's the centered fluffy art piece called in an article

I know this, but I can't recollect at all. What is this thing called? They are usually centered in a book or writing and I'm certain they have a name but I can't remember for the life of me. They ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What do you call this word-image made of other words?

What do you call this type of image in design term?
0
votes
0answers
71 views

What leading settings do you using for San Francisco font? [closed]

I'm designing for some mobile platforms. I was impressed with Google's font guidelines and wondered why Apple doesn't have any guidelines for San-Francisco font. I'd like to learn your experience ...
35
votes
7answers
4k views

In a sentence ending with a bold or italicised word, does the period need to be bold/italicised too?

Maybe this will be considered a bit of a nitpicking argument, but I constantly find myself asking: In a paragraph where the last word is bold or italicised, should I make the period at the end bold or ...
34
votes
13answers
5k views

How can I improve my handwriting ability?

I really like writing encouraging letters to my friends every so often. Writing them by hand makes them feel a lot more personal, but I am always hesitant to do so because my handwriting has always ...
22
votes
2answers
2k 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?
22
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
316 views

When designing a latin-based typeface, how are diacritics handled?

I was looking into designing a font that could include characters with diacritics but outside of knowing any other language besides English I was unsure if there was a reference or method designers ...
12
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
3k 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?
8
votes
2answers
64k 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 ...
18
votes
8answers
17k 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?
6
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
665 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
6k 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
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
3answers
233 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
2k 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. ...
7
votes
3answers
340 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
596 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 ...