Pro Tips for Quality Typography
The reader of a beautifully designed graphic piece can easily lose interest if the typography is poor or over-emphasized.
Following are some suggestions that are old-world rules for quality typography, and some are current or have been modified for today's digital graphic arts environment. In most cases, the old-world rules still apply, as they pertain to quality standards that make reading matter (be it printed or digital) more easily absorbed by the reader.
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- There should be no double spaces used at the end of sentences. On occasion, double spaces can be used in large headlines that are set in CAPITAL LETTERS.
- An ellipsis (. . .) should be typed using space dot (period) space dot space dot space (using non-breaking spaces so the line does not break within the ellipsis). Using the ellipsis key on the keyboard will not look right because the spaces around the ellipsis do not have the same value as the spaces within . . . and, if using the ellipsis key and later changing the point size of the type, the ellipsis will look worse. Also, if an ellipsis is used at the end of a complete sentence, the sentence should end with a period and then comes the space dot space dot space dot space.
- Ligatures (ff, fi, fl, ffi, ffl) should always be used if available on the font.
- Kerning (taking space out from between two certain characters)
is a nice refinement to typography
if used with discretion. Some fonts already have kerning applied to certain character combinations, such as Ta, To, Va, AT, TT, etc. Some software applications allow overall kerning to be turned on and off. See Web Kerning.
- Tracking (taking space out from between characters in whole lines or paragraphs of type) is a nice way to make certain typefaces look better, if used with discretion. By no means is it good typography when tracking is applied to one certain line in a paragraph to force that line to stay within the paragraph's width; also never use tracking in one paragraph when others have a different tracking. In this last regard, a slight amount of tracking, not be noticeable to the reader, may not adversely affect the overall look of the paragraph.
- Folios (page numbers) are usually set flush left on even (left-hand) pages and flush right on odd (right-hand) pages. This varies occasionally.