OVERVEIW
LEGIBILITY & READABILITY
LEADING, COLUMN WIDTH & TYPEFACE
WEB TYPOGRAPHY
CHARACTERISTICS OF TYPE
ON THE WEB
CONTENT, STRUCTURE & VISUAL RESULT
LEGIBILITY ON THE WEB
ALIGNMENT ON WEB PAGES
LINE LENGTH ON WEBSITES
TYPEFACES FOR THE WEB
Leading, column width & typeface

If the leading (space between lines) is too small, and to a lesser extent, too large type is less readable. It depends on the typeface, but a good place to start is 20% of the point size. So, a 10pt font would have 2 pt leading, or 10pt on 12pt.

However, it may be necessary to adjust this. Typefaces with long ascenders and descenders, and a small x height (body size), require less leading. A large x height with short ascenders and descenders requires more leading.

The text in books is generally justified (ranged both left and right), apart from looking neat; it also helps the reader to pick up the next line.

But this advantage diminishes as the column width is reduced; large white holes start to appear as the line is forced to fit the column, check your tabloid newspaper to see how bad this can get. Newspapers do this because it is easier and faster to juggle narrow elements to fill their page. A general rule on choice of typeface is that serif faces (Times, Century, Plantin, etc.) are more readable than sans serif (Helvetica, Univers, Arial, etc.).

Reach for any novel on your bookshelf, and you will find that it will fit, within reason, the above guides.

One of the first choices that will need to be made is: Which typeface?

Each typeface has its own characteristics, and this is where it gets subjective, the designer must use their experience and judgement to make a selection that fits in with the subject in the text. It tends to rely on gut feeling, rather than science.

This affinity of typeface with subject or product applies more to advertising and leaflets than to book design.

In book design, the main criterion is the uninterrupted flow of information to the reader. Therefore subtly is the watch word.
   
© Dave Wheatley
I take no responsibility for the accuracy, quality or safety of external sites.
 
   
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