THE NON-DESIGNER'S TYPE BOOK
and light or heavy weights
White type on a dark background (reverse) appears to be smaller than
black type on a white background. Compensate for this by using a slightly
heavier typeface and slighdy larger point size (this is a great place to take
advantage of multiple masters; see Chapter 30).
Which type appeare smaller?
Which type arpeare smaller?
The same guideline applies for text that is dropped out of a graphic image.
I know it looks really great on the screen, but when ink hits absorbent
paper, ah kinds of havoc is wreaked upon unsuspecting delicate type. Don't
let your work look foolish by ignoring the realities of the reproduction
Extra bold type and extra light type are also less readable than a regular
weight face. If you use them, be sure to compensate—you may need extra
letterspace, extra linespace, a bit larger or smaller point size. Your eyes will
tell you what is necessary.
On web pages, avoid using colored text on a dark background. If you must,
enlarge the size of the type a wee bit, and don't use bold or italic except in
Italic or script
S/ialics and scripts are more difficult to read in general because of their tightspacing,
t/ieir curves ana slants, their approximations to handwritten letterforms. 'Don '/ euer
use tliem for extended text or no one will read your worh. Mlaximize Ineir readaßifitg:
Ж Jay close attention to their fetter and word spacing.
* S/ncrease their linespacing if necessary.
* JICaÁe the line length shorter than aueraae.
if Don 'I reuerse tnem unless theu are set in a relatiuelu larae size.
Do you find this section less readable, even in this small amount of сори? У es, these
t/iinjs are true----Уam not fust mahing them up.
2 : THE ART OF READABILITY
Moderation is the key
I'm sure you see the pattern by now—moderation in every facet of
typography is the key to eminent readability. Now, this does not mean that
you have to be dull and boring and moderate at all times! It just means that
you need to be conscious and make conscious choices.
* Perhaps you want to use a very distinctive face in a brochure. If the
face itself is not intrinsically readable, then make up for it in other
areas of readability—an appropriate line length and word spacing,
avoid all caps, etc. Make sure that all other text is eminently read¬
able, and then you can get away with areas of fancy type.
* If you want to use a sans serif in body copy, use a shorter line length
and a little extra space between the hnes.
* If you want to reverse text, make it a bit bolder and larger, and don't
use a fine-featured typeface that has tiny httle serifs or thin lines that
* Save extra bold and italic and extra light for accents.
* If your typeface has an extra-large x-height, use more linespacing.
If it has very tall ascenders, you can use less linespacing.
* If you're setting a book, manual, magazine, or other lengthy text,
including a lot of text on a web page, use the most readable face
in all its moderation. Save the distinctive faces for chapter tides,
headlines, subheads, poetry, etc.