Thursday, September 8, 2011

Let's Talk Typography

What is typography? Simply put, it's the way words look when viewed in print or online . Typography includes such elements as font, typeface, font size and leading (ledding).


There are two main font "families:"

Sans-serif,  such as Arial, Helvetica and Verdana.

Serif, which includes the Times Roman font you're looking at right now. It's like sans-serif with a little bling added.

The basic typefaces are roman (plain), bold, and italic. Some fonts include such attributes as heavy, light, ultra bold, etc.

Here are some examples:

 Serif fonts
Sans-serif fonts

You'll notice that some fonts are bold or italic or capitalized. I didn't add anything to them; that's just the way they were created. You can also see that, although they're all 10-point type, some look bigger than others. Again, that's their natural attribute.

Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't give us too many options when it comes to typographical elements.If you're more savvy with HTML, there may be options in CSS, but that's beyond my skill set. I just useWord and Windows 7 clipping tool to save  PNG images, then insert them into my blog as I have done here.

 (Thanks to Jeni from In Color Order for steering me to the download!)

Leading is the amount of space between the bottom (baseline) of one line of text and the bottom of the next line. The smaller the leading, the denser the text will appear. The standard is 2 more points of leading than the size of type.

As you can see, using leading smaller than the font size makes text really hard to read. It's better to reduce the size of the type or increase the amount of leading. You can adjust leading easily in Word. Just click on the Line Spacing icon and select Line Spacing Options. Select "Exactly" from the pull-down menu and adjust your leading as much or little as you like.


There you have the basics of typography. Let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to help.

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