2

In a printed technical publication, I need to present a large double-pages illustration on the same double-page than its explanatory paragraph. Doing so, I had to insert a page break at the end of the preceding paragraph, and most of the previous double page gets empty...

Is there any typographic character which would mean "this page [or this part of the page] is intentionally left empty" ? I used to see some kind of stars in older novels. Is there any good practice for this ?


EDIT (Typographic terms)

I retrieved the precise terms:

  • Asterisk * (as pointed out by Lauren Ipsum) [alt+42] [U+002A]
  • Asterism: ⁂ a centered line of usually three asterisks (a dinkus), OR a centered triangle made of 3 or 4 asterisks [alt+2042] [U+2042]

The asterism would be used to enhance a break in the document flow (french Wikipedia), or to indicate a minor break (english Wikipedia).

So, does it match my needs only in english? Or is there a better solution?


EDIT (to answers)

Thanks for the answers I received so far (Unknowndomain, Scott & Lauren Ipsum). However, the three of you would not worry that much about a blank page (with the exception of a legal document which could lead to legal issues if some content is actually missing or added illegally onto the blank page). However, I think a full blank page may indeed break the document's flow and the reader's perception of hierarchy : a blank page would mean a change of a main section of the document. Don't you agree ?

So, I'm still worried :)

2

In publications there is often no indicator. The lack of any content in a bound publication is enough to know it was intentionally left blank.

Blank pages are really only ever an issue in loose sheet letters, where the lack of content may cause confusion. It's never an issue in an actual publication to just have blank pages. In fact often the cover of a book or publication will have leaf pages which are entirely blank.


After Question Edit: For a publication, if there is no break in content/flow, then I don't know why you'd have a full blank in the first place.

Realize a blank just means "break" it doesn't mean "chapter end" or "section end" specifically, it just indicates "end". The following page would designate what the blank actually refers to ending. If the page following the blank starts with a new chapter header, then clearly the blank means "end of chapter". If the page following the blank starts with a new section title, then it would mean "end of section". A blank is honestly the same as using an end character much of the time when dealing with bound content.

If there's no break in the document content - no new chapter, no new section, etc - then there should not be a blank or any indicator. I don't understand why you would want or have a full blank in the middle of content.

Asterisms and the like are often used in books to indicate the end of a section, chapter, or end of an article in magazines/newspapers. They specifically are used to indicate the "end of content". In a publication a blank serves the same purpose. If you want a blank, but not a break in content, then [continued on page X....] and [...continued from page X.] are more appropriate.

Ultimately, there are no "rules" or "laws" about this. There is merely typical or common usage. If you feel you need an end character even though content is not at the end of a section or you feel a blank is insufficient, then use one. It doesn't have to be an asterism. Many things use a square, diamond, or any random "dingbat" character. The only real standard is that any end character is not an actual type character.

1

With design you can often follow your gut... If it doesn't pop into your mind immediately, it's probably not going to be very intuitive, as a designer I am vaguely aware of a mark used in old books, but I don't think I would recognise it...

Most designers if they must signal a page is left blank intentionally will write that as you've noted, however I think the absence of content is accepted as deliberate so I don't think this is really necessary.

In other words, the simple answer is to leave the page blank, you don't need to label it. Especially if there are page numbers or other page furniture.

1

The stars are generally used to indicate a scene change at the top or bottom of a page when a scene change is otherwise indicated by two returns. At the top or bottom of a page, there isn't necessarily room for the extra blank line space, so a row of asterisks is used instead.

The only time I've seen a notation about entirely blank pages is in legal and financial documents, like 10-K reports, where you have to indicate THIS PAGE DELIBERATELY LEFT BLANK so that the reader doesn't worry that additional financial information was inadvertently not printed.

Otherwise, a blank page is a blank page. Don't worry about it.

ETA Yes, a blank page could mean "this is the end of Part 1 and the beginning of Part 2," particularly if the next section begins on a right-hand page and starts with PART 2 in large letters. You have more leeway in novels than in non-fiction texts, so really, it's okay to leave the blank space.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.