Text formatting

When I tell peo­ple I write about ty­pog­ra­phy, they of­ten say, “Oh, you mean fonts?”

Yes and no. Sure, fonts are an im­por­tant part of ty­pog­ra­phy. But there’s much more to ty­pog­ra­phy than fonts.

Sim­i­larly, there’s more to text for­mat­ting than pick­ing a font. For­mat­ting in­cludes every­thing that af­fects the ap­pear­ance of the words on the page—not just fonts, but also point size, bold and italic styling, and letterspacing.

The first part of this chap­ter cov­ers ba­sic and ad­vanced for­mat­ting rules. The sec­ond part is a gallery of font rec­om­men­da­tions—for those ready to look be­yond the lim­i­ta­tions of sys­tem fonts.

In this chap­ter, there aren’t as many bright lines be­tween cor­rect and in­cor­rect habits as in the last chap­ter. You won’t be able to get by on rote ap­pli­ca­tion of rules. You’ll need to start mak­ing ty­po­graphic judg­ments of your own.

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