THE NON-DESIGNER'S TYPE BOOK
First paragraphs are not indented
The purpose of an indent is to warn the reader that a new paragraph is
about to begin, right? Well, if it's the first paragraph, the reader does not
need that clue—it's redundant. This is another one of those details where
it might not look correct at first, but once you know it is correct and you
apply it, other work will look foolish to you when the first paragraphs
Space between the paragraphs
If you want space between the paragraphs, don't hit a double Return! Learn
to use your software to put an extra space after each paragraph, a space
generally about half the amount of your linespace. If you hit two Returns
you get a big gap, a gap that separates the very things that should be
visually connected. The paragraphs on other pages in this book have a line-
space (leading) value of 15 with 7 extra points of space after each paragraph.
But on this page I have hit double Returns. Aren't these huge spaces
between paragraphs horrendous? It makes the work look so juvenile.
Again I must reinforce: learn to use your software. Every word processor
and page layout application gives you control over the space between your
paragraphs. Be smart. Look smart. Use it.
The alignment of your text plays a vital part in the look and the readabil¬
ity of your work. It's not the only factor—typeface, line length, style, size,
linespacing, and case (caps or lowercase) also contribute. Type that is easy
and pleasant to read encourages people to read what is written. Type that
is not so readable can discourage a significant portion of the audience.
In short text, as in an advertisement or a package design, you can often get
away with using a design feature that detracts from the readability but adds
to the attractiveness and impact of the piece (such as extreme letter spacing,
or all caps with a justified alignment, or fringe type)—but this only works
when you can justify that the look of the piece is more important than the
accompanying loss of readability.
Passion without reason
Reason without passion
A centered alignment
is very stable and secure
and tends to have
A strong flush right
a more formal appearance.
It can be dull
because of this formality.
or left alignment
has a clean edge
with an almost visible
line running along it.
The strength of this edge
adds strength to the design.