Simple Rules for Better Typography

Some simple rules to fol­low for improved typo­graphy (web or print), from Fred Design:

  • Don’t use too many typefaces (not more than 3).
  • Pay close atten­tion to the hier­archy.
  • No more than 4 font sizes, prefer­ably 3.
  • 8–10pt for body copy (def­in­itely not above 12pt).
  • Use simple, legible typefaces.
  • Keep lead­ing in mind (a little above the font size, slightly below the auto set­ting, no over­lap­ping).
  • Keep kern­ing in mind (no over­lap­ping).
  • Emphas­ise subtly (bold, ital­ic, under­lined or a dark­er shade).
  • No caps in body text.
  • Always align to a baseline.
  • Flush left, ragged right (keep text left aligned, not jus­ti­fied).
  • Between 6 and 12 words per line (as a gen­er­al, flex­ible rule).
  • Hanging punc­tu­ation marks and bul­lets, not inden­ted.
  • Exper­i­ment­al: use Fibon­acci num­bers for point sizes.

Sim­il­ar and worth­while: Mark Boulton’s Five simple steps to bet­ter typo­graphy.

Don’t for­get these ebooks, either!

1 thought on “Simple Rules for Better Typography

  1. Jonathan Blake

    The irony is that the art­icle does­n’t fol­low those guidelines, most obvi­ously for lead­ing (the lead­ing advice would make things too dense for me).

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