THE NON-DESIGNER'S TYPE BOOK
Consider those phrases
I want to elaborate a little on the concept I keep mentioning: grouping
words into phrases. We read and hear words in context, not as isolated
items each with their own meanings. That is another reason all caps are
hard to read—we have to read each word of all caps, but we understand
whole clusters. Our mind has to work to put the individual words into
Typographic beauty is a function of visual aesthetics combined with an
intellectual assimilation. A page can look good with "greek" text or nonsen¬
sical combinations of words, but the type really packs a punch when the
content (which is visible) is integrated into the design.
In the Durant quote on page 115, the visual impression is enhanced by the
strong right edge. But it is also strengthened because of the phrases that are
emphasized. With the flush right alignment, "without reason" and "with¬
out passion" are forcefully isolated, juxtaposed, and begging to be consid¬
ered as a unit. The meaning of the words in these unes give more power to
the whole piece. Always consider the phrasing when you have the oppor¬
tunity to adjust it, as you do when your alignment is not justified or when
the line length is short.
It's your choice
Choose one alignment per page—don't mix centered with flush left, for
instance. With any alignment you choose, be aware of its strengths and
weaknesses. Each alignment presents an initial visual image to the reader,
has a different level of readability, and has particular quirks in regard to
setting it. Evaluate these strengths and weaknesses, and base your decision
on the combination of factors that best communicates your message.
In this book, I am obviously using justified type. The uneven word spacing
bothers me, but because there are so many typefaces and type examples on
these pages, I wanted the clean lines of a justified text block. It acts as a
contrast to the extra stuff, and also as a solid, stable, repetitive background
for the play of the other text. I was willing to make a conscious choice to
justify the text and accept less-than-ideal word spacing in exchange for the
clean lines of the edges of the paragraphs.