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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

21
votes
6answers
35k 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?
41
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
25
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
12k views

Difference between kerning vs letter spacing?

What is the difference between kerning vs. letter spacing?
11
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
3k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
13k views

Visually similar alternatives to Helvetica?

I'd like to use something similar-but-different for my poster project. I've already ruled out: Arial Avant Garde/Futura - too geometric Frutiger - too humanist /'friendly' I guess I'm looking for ...
15
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
798 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Optimum line height in relation to font size

Is there an agreement on the optimum mathematical proportion of line height and the size of a text? And if there is, is it the same for print and web?
8
votes
2answers
9k 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, ...
5
votes
3answers
482 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
486 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
3answers
3k 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. ...
14
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

Is there a way to sort fonts inside Photoshop, as “serif,” “sans-serif,” “script,” etc.?

In my years as a graphic designer (and now web designer and developer,) I've acquired a great number of fonts; inasmuch as backing them up was a responsibility paramount attendant upon formatting my ...
16
votes
3answers
256 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: ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there any open-source alternative to Fontlab out there?

I used to work with Fontlab Studio to design and compile my fonts. Years have passed and my former Fontlab install vanished into the voids of a crashing harddisk. Now that I'm gaining interest in ...
8
votes
3answers
165 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
753 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
242 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 ...
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 ...
15
votes
1answer
223 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
967 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? ...
10
votes
4answers
326 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
13k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Are light type face versions simply thinner than the roman (regular) ones?

I am taking a regular version of a typeface I love and making a light version of it, and I'm wondering: Is the light version just an inset of the regular version? Are there any special ...
10
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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
2answers
2k 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
1answer
247 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. ...
6
votes
3answers
226 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
153 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
4answers
1k views

What page numbering conventions are there for front matters (prelims) of books?

When a book uses arabic page numbering, the usual habit is to treat the front cover as a page number 1, and start the book itself by page number 3. However, sometimes the front-matter of the book is ...
4
votes
1answer
364 views

Hyphenation on many line breaks

Sometimes, word processors screw up hyphenation by hyphenating a series of consecutive lines. This just happened to me in a spectacular way:                 What's most annoying in the above case is ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Highlighting text in Adobe InDesign

I want to have inline code snippets in my InDesign document. Similar to how StackExchange does it, like this. So the gray background is perfect. Basically I just want to highlight certain text. ...
2
votes
6answers
3k views

How can I write in other languages in Photoshop?

In other languages, alphabets can combine characters into symbols. I don't know if Photoshop can do that. Is there a clean way to do it, or a special plugin (preferably free)?. Maybe there is some ...
2
votes
1answer
171 views

Footnote/Endnote reference characters before or after an ellipsis?

I was checking guidance on where to put footnote or endnote reference characters relative to punctuation and found a really clear answer for everything except an ellipsis. It's pretty unlikely and ...
1
vote
3answers
739 views

Vector pasting in wrong spot / Font Lab and Illustrator

I built out some shapes to test out a font icon idea. I drew them in Illustrator. I set my art-board to pt at 1000 x 1000. I filled the objects and moved the ruler so that 0 was the baseline. From ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Will text laid out on an image in Photoshop, when printed look pixelated? Or sharp enough?

The title really says it all. I want to design a poster for my home. But here's my question, if I lay out the text in photoshop, save it and then print it - will the text look pixelated? Or sharp ...
0
votes
2answers
133 views

Should I be concerned about optimal font size for a particular font

I am aware that certain fonts, are designed for use at certain sizes, at least in the physical print world. They make uses of things like Ink Traps to prevent running. With type for the digital ...