Typography rules, but remove the orphans and take out the widows

To designers type is beauty – we have such passion and high regard for their form and how they live together as a family, flowing from one sibling to another in harmony and respect. Typography should look effortless, easy on the eye, transport the reader from word to word which allows the mind to open and absorb the text as though it’s not there.

This beauty is not easy to achieve – it takes designers a lot of time on projects to fine tune – it requires attention to detail and a passion for perfection.

Publishing software has come a long way in the past 20 years and has helped the type designer carry out their task with far more accuracy and automation – but this software cannot be relied on as I feel it is still in its infancy and a lot more needs to be done.

I’ve had arguments with Adobe about InDesign’s poor mulit-line composing algorithm – it creates well balanced paragraphs but overlooks orphans (those stranded words or short lines at the end of paragraphs). There appears to be confusion about what constitutes good typography and some of the rules seem to be losing their strength.

So it refreshing that a designer from the USA has created a poster that lists many of the type rules – with an explanation of one of my favorite gripes – the orphans and widows. Check out his poster and download it at Evan Stremke’s website


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