Whether you are a designer or not, every business professional should become aware of typography rules. When followed correctly, they are sure to make a document stand out in a crowd and remain polished. Just as proper grammar is important in professional documents, so is typography, and it is certainly noticeable when incorrect. Follow these rules and you’ll always have a refined document in your hands.
Here are some of my favorite typographic sins from a recent poster I saw in an issue of HOW magazine:
Two spaces between sentences. When I learned how to type in middle school, it was taught that you should always place two spaces in between sentences in a paragraph. Correct form is only to place one space between sentences. At fatrabbit we’re passionate about this rule. Read our first ever blog: “Your Computer is Not a Typewriter.”
Failing to tuck periods/commas inside quote marks. This rule will prevent your attention being drawn to the unsightly white space after the quote.
Incorrect: “I love type so much”, she confessed.
Correct: “I love type so much,” she confessed.
Failing to eliminate widows and orphans. Widows are single solitary words that sit all alone on the last line of a paragraph. They look strange and should either be moved up with the words from the previous line or words should be moved down to join it in order to make it a compete line. An orphan is the last line of a paragraph that sits alone at the top of a page or column. These should be eliminated as well.
Indenting a paragraph too far. The correct indent for a paragraph is 1 em (the point size of the type) not 1 inch. Most word processing programs typically indent paragraphs 1 inch. This problem is easy to fix by adjusting the tab settings in your program. Along the lines of this rule the first paragraph is never indented, but subsequent paragraphs are.
Large amounts of body text in uppercase letters. When body text is set in uppercase letters the text becomes VERY DIFFICULT TO READ. In order to correct this problem be sure if uppercase letters are used, they are only used in heading and title text.