Tagged: Typesetting

How to Write AM and PM

The best way to write AM and PM in times
This article is not about the correct way to write AM and PM. I did a quick internet search and found all kinds of answers. There are some style guides that are very specific in their answers, but those specific guidelines change from one guide to another. The general consensus I'm seeing is that it's up to taste. With that in mind, this article is about which way is most pleasing to the eye and easiest to read. Let's get to it. Periods We'll start with the issues of periods. AM and PM Read More

Drop (the) Shadows

When to use drop shadows
Drop shadows. They're a very common element in the world of graphic design. And they're very easy to implement, from the high-level design packages to software for beginners. As a result they get used a lot. The reasoning goes something like this: "I need to typeset a headline. There we go. I sure did pick a nice font. But it's not special enough. It's not eye catching. What can I do to give it some oomph? I know, I'll add a drop shadow! There we go. Now my headline pops and my layout looks designed." Look, Read More

When to Use Bold Text

Bold text works best when used in moderation.
Making text bold is possibly the most common typesetting/design practice. Even the most computer illiterate person will either know or want to know how to make text bold. It's so common a practice that we sometimes forget the reason for it. And after dealing with clients and hearing their requests for making certain things bold, I think it's time to back up and consider the purposes and uses of the bold style. One clarification before I dig in. What I'm about to say is in reference to basic paragraph/list Read More

How to Type Accents and Special Characters on a Mac

Sample special characters popup screen for iOS
Let's start with the obvious. There are more characters than keys on a keyboard. We're all familiar with the shift key, which allows multiple characters to be accessible via one button. But again, that only scratches the surface. I spent four years working for a publisher as a typesetter and designer. This company specialized in the ancient Near East and biblical studies. This meant typesetting in a number of languages (even hieroglyphics). When typing in Hebrew or Greek, for example, we'd simply Read More

Good Logo Design: U-Gro Case Study

Overthinking logo design using U-Gro's logo as an example
It's a logo that shouldn't work. I spent the past week visiting each of the U-Gro Learning Centres, from Harrisburg to York to Lancaster, and everywhere in between. At each location I provided an hour-long presentation for the kids. There was some juggling, a bit of science, and a lot of clowning around. And everywhere I went, I was faced with this logo. I couldn't help but analyze it. The font weights between characters vary. There are tapered weights within individual characters, sometimes Read More

Periods in Phone Numbers

Should you use periods in phone numbers?
This is one article to which many people will reply, "Who cares?" So let's begin by reviewing the name of this site—"Overthinking Design." Admittedly, this is a small issue that I've put too much thought into. But with design the details matter, and text formatting is often overlooked. So buckle yourself in as we take a close look at…phone numbers! When it comes to designing text there are two main goals. Above all, you want the text to be understood and processed quickly. Second, Read More

Double Spacing After a Period

Should I double space after a period?
Let's keep this brief. No. Never put a double space after a period. Well, almost never. Let's back up. If you were born before the Reagan administration, you may have learned typing on a typewriter (i.e., not a computer). You were taught to put two spaces after a period. And that was correct. A typewriter has only one font, and that font is a monospaced font. That means each character takes up the same horizontal width. So if you typed a series of lines, the characters would line up both horizontally Read More