Category Archives: Type

What’s a boy or girl to do?

Flyers are still a good communication vehicle. Really, they are. I like them. You can’t tweet everything. Flyers are good for garage sales but they are good for other things too. Say you want to start lunchtime book club but you don’t want to email everyone in the company. Posting flyers in the cafeteria or lunchroom and in elevators or the company bulletin board is a fine way to pass along information. Any information that needs to be posted will get more attention if it is well designed and compelling. Below is a type only flyer. Think about how you use type, the size and spacing. Think about balance, how will it catch people’s eye? Large look at me type is an excellent way catch the eye. What about putting the title in the middle as in the example below? A little effort in the beginning can have high impact and results. Tear-offs are optional but are a good remember the date or sign-up here reminder.


That’s a capital idea

All capital letters is not always the best idea. It isn’t necessarily a bad one either. It is, however, a terrible idea to use script in all caps. Chancery seems to be the favorite typeface to commit this travesty. Terrible, terrible idea, don’t even entertain it.


Get the lead out

What is leading and why do you care. Leading is the space between lines of type. It’s called leading because back in the old timey days when thing were printed with ink on paper people used printing presses. Printers used slugs of lead to create space between each line of type thus, leading. We still call it leading and if I had my way typeface would not be called font. Font actually refers to the size of type not to what typeface it is. But never mind. I’m sure by now you realize why leading is important. Designers use leading to cheat space or to make copy more readable. Below I made some samples of type that have different leading and as you can see the typeface used makes a difference in how the type looks. Often times headline or titles have tighter leading. Since there is typically less text in a headline or title there is more freedom to make it visually pleasing.

Leading can even be controlled somewhat in Word. Look for it in the Formatting Palette under Alignment and Spacing. The dos and don’ts are pretty simple:

Do increase leading for readability

Do increase leading in a pull quote—it will help emphasize the text

Do increase leading in things to be read aloud—often used for speeches or readings when some one may be looking away from the copy and back

Don’t decrease leading in body copy

Do decrease leading for headlines for a more compact attractive line—works best for san-serif type

Don’t decrease leading in serif type so much that the ligatures touch

A Pleasant day for a Read

What makes a pleasant read? Is it the content, the way or style in which it’s written? What do I mean by a pleasant read anyway? I mean text that is pleasant to read no matter what the subject or style. We talked about 12 point being the ideal point size for elderly and low readers but what if your audience is neither? Here’s a quick break down of what point size goes with what age. Serif typefaces are still the way to go, that has not changed.



Preschoolers and those just learning to read: 24 Point
7-8 year olds: 18 Point
8-10 year olds: 14 to 16 Point
12 year olds: 12 Point
Adults: 10 Point
College Students: 9 to 10 Point
Seniors: 11 to 12 Point

Not too big not too small, just right

You know, of course, from your diligent and loyal reading of this blog about type size. What size is the U. S. government’s print standard (ahem—12 point). You also know that sometimes you have a to go bigger or smaller depending on space. How big is too big? How small is too small? How do fill a space when you don’t have enough copy? What about when you have too much?

Making type really big makes it look childish
Making type too small and no one will bother to read it
Consider the following to make type not just fit but look right
Do you have an image you can make larger or smaller? If you are going smaller
instead of shrinking the image can you crop it?
Can you make the margins wider, narrower?
Can you make the space after the paragraph larger or smaller? There should always be a designated space after paragraphs and the space is not an extra return.
If your software allows it can you make the line spacing wider?
Can headers be larger, smaller?
Drop cap?
Can the article or paper title be larger, smaller?
I am sure you may even be able to think of some others.

Ain’t it Grand?

Look at the three Grand Openings.

Which one is for the opening of a Salvation Army Store? Which one is for a supermarket and which is for a lemonade stand? Not too hard to tell is it? That’s because each chose a typeface that suited them. So maybe not the lemonade stand; but don’t be all like, “Any kid today worth her salt would have a marketing plan and a branding strategy.” Probably, but that isn’t my point. Don’t treat the blood drive like the Oscars. Nothing kills a bad product quicker than good packaging. Find something sincere. Yes you can, if Charlie Brown could find a sincere Christmas tree you can find a sincere typeface.
Typefaces used: Chancery, Impact and Lisa Script. Lisa as in me, it’s my handwriting converted into a font. Cool—yes?

Sounds simple and it is

Centering text. You select center and you’re done, right? Not always. You still have to look at your type. Lean back, squint your eyes and look. Does it look centered? There will be times when it doesn’t appear so. One problem may be you added a space at the front of the line of text, easy fix there. Other times it just doesn’t look right. There are no extra spaces, so what’s up? It may the typeface you’re using has funny o’s or w’s. How do you fix it? You eye ball it. Add an extra space to make it look right. And that’s the secret, do what you have to make it look right. The other guideline for centering type is tapering. The top line is your longest line:

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs.
The quick brown fox jumped over the
lazy dogs. The quick brown fox
jumped over the lazy dogs.