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A SURVEY FOR UNDERSTANDING TYPE AND OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS


A SURVEY FOR UNDERSTANDING TYPE AND OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS

cody moiseve

jen boxhorn

rex carrillo


INTRODUCTION Good typography is invisible. When you read a magazine, book, or billboard sign, typography effects how you read, even though you might not know why or how it does. This book is meant to help introduce you to some of the basics of typography. It will help you to identify ascenders and descenders—no, they aren’t stairs—what tracking, justification, and leading are, as well as how to avoid widows and orphans (which may not mean what you think it means). In the end, perhaps typography won’t be as invisible as before you picked up this book. We will hold the blank paper to the heat of a lamp and the hidden message in the type will appear. Hopefully you won’t think about typography the same way again. And while there are infinite amounts of things to learn about typography in order to change your typographic eye, you have to start somewhere. So turn the page and let’s start there.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

01. Anatomy of Type 03. Ligature 04. Numbers 05. Classification 06. Type Families 07. Kerning 08. Tracking 09. Leading 10. Paragraph Breaks 11. Justification 12. Rivers 13. Widows 14. Orphans 15. Conclusion


ANATOMY OF TYPE (7) sans serif

(5) counter

(1) cap line (2) mean line

(3) baseline

(4.1) descender

(1) The Cap Line is the imaginary top line that marks the height of a capital letters in any given typeface. In some instances the capital letter will extend beyond the line to give an optical alignment. (2) The Mean Line is the middle line that is determined based on the height of the “x” character from the baseline. This space itself is called the “x-height.” 01

(3) The Baseline is the imaginary bottom line that marks the base of the letters. All letters align to this line unless they have a descender. (4.1)Descenders are elements of a character that extends lower than the baseline, these characters include g, y, p, j, etc. These low-hanging elements can be looked at as tails of the charactrers.


(4.2) ascender

x

(6) x-height

IDENTIFYING A serif typeface is identified with the acents to the terminals on the characters. These A SERIF “feet� help guide the eye from each letter. TYPEFACE

(4.2) Ascenders like descenders, ascenders travel beyond the x-height but move upward, these characters include the l, h, d, b, and many more.

(6) x-height the measured space between the baseline and the mean line that is determined by the height of the x character within the style of type.

(5) Counter Counter is the negative space created by the shape of the letter. The shape inside the rounded letters: o,b,e,q, and cups in letter like s, G, and c all have this counter space.

(7) Sans Serifs a san serif, as displayed above, lacks the little feet or accents at the terminals of the characters. This typeface is great for a stark and solid look, but lacks the humanist feel of serif. 02


Numbers

Lining and non-lining numbers: In most fonts there are two types of lining: lining and non-lining. Use lined numbers for more tabular and modular alignment, such as in tables, signage, or with all capitals. Use non-lining numbers within text or bodies of copy. “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.�

12345678910

non-lining

03


MAKING A LIGATURE *

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fidget float waffle

* joined characters to create a single glyph for easier reading and reduced confusion.

04


CLASSIFICATION OF TYPOGRAPHY

typeface

05

classification


WELCOME TO MY FAMILY WELCOME TO MY FAMILY WELCOME TO MY FAMILY WELCOME TO MY FAMILY WELCOME TO MY FAMILY WELCOME TO MY FAMILY WELCOME TO MY FAMILY A family is a collection of fonts under the same name that have variations in weight, orientation, width, etc.

WELCOME TO MY FAMILY WELCOME TO MY FAMILY WELCOME TO MY FAMILY WELCOME TO MY FAMILY WELCOME TO MY FAMILY WELCOME TO MY FAMILY WELCOME TO MY FAMILY WELCOME TO MY FAMILY WELCOME TO MY FAMILY

did you know? various typefaces of a family are often redrawn from from scratch rather than working off the original design.

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KERNIN The letters in a typeface will come with a default amount of space on either side of any character. The default tries to create even spacing, however, many times certain characters will have problems with gapping spaces around them. Letters with diagonal forms (such as W, Y, A, and V) along with letters that frame an open space (L, T, h, etc) tend to form gaps that need to be closed. The subtle adjustment of the space between two letters is called kerning. While not as noticeable when small, large sized characters such as those in headlines and titles will need extra attention to the gaps. All designers need to “mind the gap,� not just designers in London.

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While kerning refers to adjusting only the space between two letters, tracking refers to evenly spacing out all the gaps between letters in a word, group of words, or paragraph. When using all capitals or small capitals, tracking helps the characters appear more stately and gives all the characters room to breath. A paragraph can be tracked out to give an airy feel, however this should be used sparingly. If letters are tracked too far apart, unified words can dissolve into simply a line of individual letters. If adjustments are needed, perhaps kerning certain letters might be a better solution.

Problems remembering which is which? “Kerning Keeps to itself” (ie. one space adjustment) whereas “Tracking gets out on the Town” (ie. lots of space involved in tracking and in a town).

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Leading Turn tracking on its side to work with the vertical spacing of a body of text and you’re working with leading. Back in the day, typographers would control the space between lines of type by inserting strips of lead between each line. Thus the term was born. Nowadays, leading refers more to describing the distance from one baseline to the next. Leading has a great affect on the readability of a body of text. Lines of type can be set so close that ascenders and descenders almost or actually do touch, which makes for pretty difficult reading. On the other hand, a paragraph could be leaded out to the point that lines of type begin to read as individual entities versus as a cohesive whole. Play around with the slider at the bottom of this paragraph to see how the differences mentioned affect the readability of this paragraph. Sliding the arrow all the way up leads to squished text and difficult reading. Halfway down is about the right leading for this text and size. Slide the arrow all the way out and you can see how the lines of text start to break down into individual units.

09


• Introduction, body, and conclusion: the three basic paragraphs that everyone wrote in every high school essay. The paragraph helps to divide up content into separate topics in a text. The divisions also give the reader’s eye a break: a place to rest instead of slogging through an

Introduction, body, and conclusion: Are the three fundamental paragraphs found in any school essay. The paragraph helps to divide up content into separate topics in a text. The divisions also give the reader’s eye a resting break, instead of slogging through an entire page of non-stop text. Many readers are familiar with the more traditional indent method combined with line break for distinguishing paragraphs. The body of text you are currently reading, for example, utilizes that very method. There are many different ways available for identifying breaks, however. The examples at the right are just three other ways for distinguishing paragraphs in a body of text. Don’t worry that the text is small and difficult to read. Simply take in the look and feel the different breaks provide.

topic sentence to prep the reader for the remainder of the paragraph. Supporting elements follow from there, followed with a transitional sentence leading into the next paragraph and subsequent thoughts. • Thoughts are very important to have in regards to whatever you write. Support the main points with all the supporting facts. Who wants to read nonsensical nonsense anyways?

Introduction, body, and conclusion: the three basic paragraphs that everyone wrote in every high school essay. The paragraph helps to divide up content into separate topics in a text. The divisions also give the reader’s eye a break: a place to rest instead of slogging through an entire page of non-stop text. Breaks in a paragraph will start with a topic sentence to prep the reader for the remainder of the paragraph. Supporting elements follow from there, followed with a transitional sentence leading into the next paragraph and subsequent thoughts. Thoughts are very important to have in regards to whatever you write. Support the main points with all the supporting facts. Who wants to read nonsensical nonsense anyways?

Introduction, body, and conclusion: the three basic paragraphs that everyone wrote in every high school essay. The paragraph helps to divide up content into separate topics in a textt. The divisions also give the reader’s eye a break: a place to rest instead

HANGING INDENT

Paragraph breaks

LINE BREAK AND HALF SPACE

SYMBOL ONLY

entire page of non-stop text. • Breaks in a paragraph will start with a

of slogging through an entire page of non-stop text. Breaks in a paragraph will start with a topic sentence to prep the reader for the remainder of the paragraph. Supporting elements follow from there, followed with a transitional sentence leading into the next paragraph and subsequent thoughts. Thoughts are very important to have in regards to whatever you write. Support the main points with all the supporting facts. Who wants to read nonsensical nonsense anyways?

10


Flush left/rag right The justification of a paragraph is bracketed into specific individual classifications. There are four classes, flush left/rag right, flush right/rag left, fully justified, and center aligned justification. Each one of these alignments can be used to your benefit in different scenario’s, good and bad.

Flush right/rag left . The justification of a paragraph is bracketed into specific individual classifications. There are four classes, flush left/rag right, flush right/rag left, fully justified, and center aligned justification. Each one of these alignments can be used to your benefit in different scenario’s, good and bad.

JUSTIFICATION Fully

Justified

The justification of a paragraph is bracketed into specific individual classifications. There are four classes, flush left/rag right, flush right/rag left, fully justified, and center aligned justification. Each one of these alignments can be used to your benefit in different scenario’s, good and bad.

This is what happens, Justified type = rivers.

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Centered The justification of a paragraph is bracketed into specific individual classifications. There are four classes, flush left/rag right, flush right/rag left, fully justified, and center aligned justification. Each one of these alignments can be used to your benefit in different scenario’s, good and bad.


RIVERS RIVER: Spaces combine together to create visual confusion in type. These spaces appear to run as rivers through the body copy of a page.

Type is wonderful, but only when used properly. Incorrect type setting can lead you into the NO NO’s of type. Such slander could leave you jobless, begging for food on the side of the highway. When setting type you need to worry about what justification you are using. In this case we are showing you how to mess up, and what not to accomplish. Rivers are one of most ugly type crimes, you should be put to death if you do not fix your rivers. Fixing rivers could be as simple as adjusting the tracking in a paragraph, or adding words to fill the holes in the copy. Falure to not account for your rivers will lead to flooded conversation around the water cooler. These rivers will make your type very unatractive, leaving you with butt ugly holes that should not be there. You will soon see.

12


ORPHANS OCCUR WHEN ONLY A FEW WORDS EXTEND TO THE NEXT LINE. WE HATE ORPHANS, NOBODY LIKES THEM.

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An orphan is a single word, part of a word or very short line, except it appears at the beginning of a column or a page. This results in poor horizontal alignment at the top of the column or page. The term “orphan” is not as commonly used as “widow,” but the concept is the same, and so is the solution:

fix it! Orphans are a huge problem, which are created when the body copy has left one word on the last line of a paragraph. The Orphan will occur when there is a paragraph that lacks words or has been written poorly, making it feel lonely.


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OH, NO! A WIDOW! Widows are a problem when you transcend from one page to another in a two page spread. The widows leave the whole paragraph unsettled, showing un-needed space at the bottom of your page. Leaving widows in your pages is a unproffesional and will set an amateur designer from a seasoned proffesional. Widows can be fixed by adding or subtracting words from your paragraph. 14


How was the journey through your introduction to type? Hopefully you learned something. If not, please see page one. If so, share the book with a friend! Plus, there are lots of other avenues to further your education in typography. Now you’ll never look at text and signage—typography!— the same way again. Enjoy!

COLOPHON Designers: Cody Moiseve, Jennifer Boxhorn, Rex Carrillo Spider’s name: Mary Beth Black Typefaces: Adobe Garamond, Gotham Paper: Hammermill 60 lb. cover Colors: Cyan, Magenta, Black, “Secret Sauce” Yellow

THE END


A Survey of Understanding Type: and Other Important Things  

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