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18 Rules for Using Text

18 Rules for Using Text If there's text in your document, follow the rules. 7 don't use We read words in shapes. That's how WHEN WE WRITE WORDS IN make correct use of Small caps, like all caps, have a Sara used to work for the FBI, but 1 ALL CAPS 3 SMALL CAPS pessimistic Every font has a personality. And people like some personalities better than others. So what's the rule here? Know know the font's our brain reads so fast. But when we ALL CAPS, THE SHAPES GO readability problem when used for large now she works for the NCAA. personality write words in ALL CAPS, the shapes go AWAY-WORDS ALL TURN INTO sections of text. However, small caps I woke up at 3:00AM again. RECTANGLES. SO WHEN YOU conservative childish important professional away-words all turn into rectangles. So should be used for abbreviations so your audience, know your document's when you write out a bunch of words in WRITE OUT A BUNCH OF WORDS that undue attention isn't drawn to the NCE UPON A TIME IN A LAND purpose, and pick a font that matches your audience's expectations and your document's purpose. Get this rule wrong, IN ALL CAPS, IT SLOWS DOWN Ooh, so far away, there lived all caps, it slows down reading. To the person reading, all caps also looks like you're yelling at them. abbreviation. Also, use small caps for AM READING. TO THE PERSON and PM. You can also use small caps for a monkey... READING, ALL CAPS ALSO LOOKS the first line of a new chapter in a book, and you've ruined the entire document. LIKE YOU'RE YELLING AT THEM. just for visual interest. 8 be careful with Reverse type means you put a light color yellow on orange is bad. reverse type of text on a dark background or vice versa. Reverse type is good for headings and titles but not much else. If you use reverse blue on red is really bad. avoid the 2) default fonts If you use the default font in Word or Times New Roman is stale. .get rid of Line breaks refer to when a word at See how ugly and utterly tacky the 14) lihe bre- aks fancy fonts are hard to read InDesign, you're telling the world that you didn't know there are any other options. type, be sure to have highly contrasting the end of a line is broken into two and hyphenated words in this oth- Calibri is uninteresting. hyphenated to lead the reader to the next line. The reality is, line breaks are bad for colors, never use blue on red, don't use erwise wonderfully constructed Times New Roman and Calibri aren't bad thick, simple fonts are good Minion Pro is lackluster. fonts with narrow or fancy features, and paragraph look? Avoid the pitfall fonts. They are just overused. Go back to Rule #1 and think about personality. use fonts with heavy weights. readability and they are just plain ugly. Adjust your desktop publishing program of making your reader unnec- Arial is void of character. essarily hang in suspense. Plus, Could there be something better than the default? In most cases, the answer is yes. to get rid of them because they are rarely getting rid of the hyphens will 9. creatę an ideal Line length refers to the width of a line a good design choice. remove some of the visual noise. line length of text on a single line. If a line length is too long, text becomes difficult to read. Line lengths can be long if the font size is ideal line length in large, but if you use a small font size (like, say, 10pt), your line length shouldn't be inches 15 orphans steer clear of Some fonts have gained so much Papyrus is hokey. don't leave Orphans refer to single words that All the hippopotamus ever wanted to 3 uglies more than about 3.5 inches. Calculate an clichés and popularity that we can consider them are left by themselves at the end of a do was ride a skateboard, but it became ideal line length by taking your font size, Comic sans is icky. paragraph. In the word of words, it is especially bad to leave orphans that are particularly little. If a tiny little word ends a paragraph all by itself, reword the sentence to get the little guy back up with his family. clichés-overused and kind of obnoxious. obvious that he'd never be able to do doubling that number, and creating a it. This happens because most computers have many of the same fonts. If you can't line length about that long in picas (there TRAJAN PRO IS GETTING OLD. Font Point Size x 2 are six picas in one inch). So, if you have a 12-point font, for example, your line length would be about 24 picas, or four orphan find a font on your computer that meets your document's personality and isn't Curlz MI isn't as cute as it looks. 6. cliché or ugly, then install a new font. It's inches. Note that the default in Microsoft easy and it can make all the difference. Word is 11-point Calibri with 1" margins on an 8-1/2" wide paper. This means the line length is 6-1/2", which is too large. 16) highlight Highlight with italics. Highlighting text is an important part of readability and scannability. The know how to Most documents look better if you use Good Example 4 use Highlight with boldface. two fonts See how using two different fonts here makes this paragraph look nice? Two non-conflicting fonts can make a document go from bland to professional. more than one font. But few look good if In this paragraph, the font size is 10pt and the leading is 12pt. It general rule, though, is to never highlight more than 10% of a page. If everything is highlighted, nothing becomes „adjust your 10) line spacing Line spacing, also called leading, is the space between lines. Most often, fonts are designed with line spacing (and how not to) Highlight with color. you use more than three. So what do you need to remember? No matter what the looks a little crowded. If this were Highlight with underlining. document is, try using two fonts-one copy in a brochure, people wouldn't highlighted. Also, only use two or three highlighting techniques at once. Don't, in Highlight with font change. slightly larger than their point size (if you have a 10-point font, the default is probably 12-point leading). Typically, that looks crowded with large bodies of like to read it as much. font for the headings and another font for Bad Example Highlight with Sİze. the body text. It will make your document pop so much more than just using one. other words, use color, italics, boldface, See how using the same font twice In this paragraph, the font size is font change, size, and underlining all at Highlight with multiple techniques. just doesn't have the same appeal as the paragraph above? Don't use too many techniques. This rule applies to all documents, from text. Consider increasing line spacing to 10pt and the leading is 16pt. If this the same time. proposals to résumés to business cards. improve readability (but don't increase it too much). copy were in a brochure, people would be much more likely to read it. 17 Snşider using Style Figures Old style figures refer to numbers that Ironically, June was born on July 1, 2014. The cute little thing weighed 7 pounds and was 19 inches long. old style figures look better For better readability, pay attention to readäbility Readability refers to how well large 11 are written with elements that go above While it is good to use two fonts, it is Like This contrast quantities of text (entire paragraphs) read. Readability is affected by font size, font type, leading (space between lines), kerning (space between letters), and line length. bad to use two fonts that look like each +Use serif and sans serif fonts and below the baseline (the imaginary font families 123456789 The contrast here between the heading other. So pick two fonts that come from and the text is good. They are clearly line upon which text sits), just like letters. +Don't use script or decorative fonts different. different font families-serifs (like Times Often, if you use old style figures, numbers tronically, June was born on July 1, 2014. The cute little thing weighed7 pounds and was 19 inches long. +Increase leading a bit will blend in better with the text. New Roman), sans serifs (like Arial), script (anything that looks like handwriting), or decorative. Make sure fonts look very Not Like This +Adjust kerning, if necessary Here, the heading is Garamond and the body text is Minion Pro. Yuck. It looks like an accident. +Use an ideal line length different from each other. 12 7-point font is okay for business cards. watch bhe Legibility, as opposed to readability, understand your Punctuation has a powerful visual 6. Because 12-point font was the MS Word default for so long, many of us began to think that 12-point is the best size for pay attention to anrie. 18) punctuation! refers to how well short bursts of text (like size 10-point font is good for reading paragraphs. impact. While you should know how to use all fifteen punctuation marks we use a logo or name) reads. For words that are legible because it is (legibility) common important to be understood, legibility is critical. On a résumé, for example, you'll in English, you should also know that you reading. But our eyes can actually read smaller just fine. 10-point fonts look better in most documents. And you can Coca Cola illegible because it is a unique spelling can break the rules with them. Consider 12-point is usually a bit ugly for reading paragraphs. want to use a typeface that is legible for your name. Note that legibility is how Coca-Cola used the period after fragments to make its message more pithy (and interesting). Use punctuation to break up sentences, offer personality and asides, develop personality, and even go down to a 7-or 8- point font on a business card. Also, headings should affected by the actual letters in a word. Sometimes one word will read perfectly Big looks important. be larger than body text and the most fine in a particular font, but another word important thing on the document should be the biggest. Jessufa It's the real thing. Coke. will be difficult to read in the same font. If create interest. a name or word is uncommon or spelled uniquely, you won't want to choose a typeface that is difficult to read. an improvement in legibility Sources The Non-Designer's Type Book. Robin Williams. Peachpit Press. 2008. Universal Principles of Design. Lidwell, Holden, & Butler. Rockport. 2010. How to Design Cool Stuff. John McWade. Peachpit Press. 2010. | 2015

18 Rules for Using Text

shared by TheVisualCommun... on Mar 15
Don't make a choice about using text without knowing the rules. Typeface, font choice, highlighting techniques--they all affect the way people read information. Follow these 18 rules and you'll be in ...


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