I've been trying to lay out my type on a baseline grid. The head of my department always wants me to add more leading between my headings and body copy. I've attached two images to illustrate what I mean. I create the left column but am told to adjust it to look like the right column. Is proper to give more leading to the header in this way? His experience is in web design so I believe his knowledge of typography is lacking.

header with different leading

header with different leading (baseline visible)

  • 2
    Do you have to listen to this guy? :)
    – Scott
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 1:26
  • Unfortunately in most cases. I'm just trying to under stand why he would want me to do this. I believe he feels the extra breathing room helps articulate the header from the body. However this is at the expense of everything else. It would help if I could point to some written documents to refute this practice. Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 2:17
  • You could adjust the heading a teeny-weeny bit up (on the left example) and keep the "ages... an adventure" on equal line height?
    – benteh
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 10:30

1 Answer 1


I get what the boss is saying. The problem is that the leading of the body copy is too loose. That's why it's hard to read and the entire block of copy is becoming a gray blur.

What you should be doing is setting more space-before on the head, the deck, and the beginning of the paragraph, and keep the leading on everything tighter. I wouldn't worry about the baseline grid for this, but if you're really in love with it, make the spacing a function of the leading. That is, if your leading is (I'm pulling numbers out of the air) 1p, then the spacing should be multiples of 1p (possibly 1p6 or 0p6, those being exactly half the leading).

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