Monthly Archives: June 2011

I am deluded enough to think I can bring something to the table ––Huey Lewis

I bring three rules/suggestions for tables.







1.   Align column headings at the bottom of the box. Like this:

2.   Numerals of a typeface may not read especially well, check the number in all typefaces you plan on using. Ones, lower case “l”s and capital “I”s may look the same. If the typeface doesn’t have good, readable numbers choose a different typeface or use the numbers from a typeface that are readable. Personally, I’d rather you changed typefaces entirely.
3.   Don’t use line leaders …………………………….. They are awful. Use ruled lines:


And you know of course single words or short lines are best centered, numbers are right justified and first column data is either centered or left justified. Oh, and don’t feel like you need to add sides to your tables either.


The proof is in the pudding: proof–reading made easy

A good proof–reader is a wonderful thing. I am a terrible proof–reader and I have a deep and abiding love for clichés and run–on sentences. If you are like me and you cannot use a second person to proof copy try these tricks:

  1. For short copy read each line backwards. It forces you to see each word as a word and not as a sentence.
  2. Use a sheet of paper under each line to isolate it from the rest of the copy.
  3. Read it out loud slowly making sure to say each word.
  4. Review hard copy.
  5. Look for one problem at a time, first spelling, punctuation and so on.
  6. Take a break then return to proof.

Still the best is to have another person review your copy but in lieu of that try these ideas.

How not to drop the ball when using a drop cap

Over to the left, that’s the drop cap or initial letter. Use it to create impact and create a graphic element. There are only a few rules to be mindful of:

  1. Set the next several words or at least six to eight letters in capitals. The initial letter becomes too strong an element otherwise.
  2. Align the text with the drop cap at top and bottom. Don’t let the text wrap around the letter.
  3. If the drop cap is a quotation, don’t forget it, the quote mark and the first letter become the drop cap.

Adding texture, adding interest, adding to your cred

Along with that comes the other caveat: Nothing kills a bad product faster than great packaging. In other words, don’t make it so pretty the content doesn’t stand a chance. Here are a few was to add texture other than paper to a printed item.

Silkscreen–This process pushes ink through a fine mesh screen. The effect is areas of dense bright color with a velvet-like feel.

Embossing–A die is cut from metal or plastic and paper is pressed into the die. The result is a raised or depressed image creating a texture that usually has no color. A depressed image is referred to as de-bossing.

Foil–Like embossing in that it uses a die, the difference is that the foil is heatset onto the paper. It can be just about any color though gold and silver prevail.

Engraving–Text or image is etched or carved into a block and the paper is laid over the inked block and pressure transfers the ink and raises the lines in the image as the paper is forced into the etched lines.

Thermography–A process where the ink is heated, melts and is fused to the paper with a raised quality.