20 Typographic Rules (If'n you need reminders)

From Experimental Typography by Rob Carter (with some of my own commentary)

1. For optimum legibility, choose classical, time-tested typefaces with a proven track record. (Can be more contemporary but should be designed by legit people like Tobias Frere-Jones)

2. Be mindful not to use too many different typefaces at any one time (unless that is part of your concept--otherwise, usually no more than two maybe three per campaign)

3. Avoid combining typefaces that are too similar in appearance

4. Text set in all capital letters severely retards reaading. Use upper-and lower-case letters for optimal readability (lower case letters are more interesting anyway)

5. For text type, use sizes that according to legibility studies prove most readable

6. Avoid using too many different type sizes and weights at the same time

7. Use text types of book weight. Avoid typefaces appearing too heavy or too light (I see alot of the too light lately)

8. Use typefaces of medium width. Avoid typefaces that appear extremely wide or narrow in width

9. For text type, use consistent letter and word spacing to produce an even, uninterrupted texture

10. Use appropriate line lengths. Lines that are too short or too long disrupt the reading process

11. For text type, use line spacing that easily carries the eye from one line to the next

12. For optimum readability, use a flush left, ragged right type alignment

13. Strive for consistent rhythmic rags

14. Clearly indicate paragraphs, but be careful not to upset the integrity and visual consistency of the text

15. Avoid widows and orphans whenever possible

16. Emphasize elements within text with discretion and without disturbing the flow of reading

17. Always maintain the integrity of type. Avoid arbitrarily stretching letters

18. Always align letters and words on the baseline

19. When working with type and color, ensure that sufficient contrast exists between the type and its background

20. (Once you've learned a thing or two more about type and image/design in general, then break the rules as much as possible.)


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This page contains a single entry by Jennifer Gordon published on November 9, 2009 2:51 PM.

What you should be Thinking and Doing with Type was the previous entry in this blog.

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