Top ten rules for typesetting your project


The typography of your project matters. If you want to communicate a strong, clear message it’s vital that your customers can clearly read it. There are many things to consider when typesetting a document so we’ve gathered a couple important rules that you should keep in mind!

  1. Body text should be between 10 and 12 point. 11 point works best when printing at 300 dpi.
  2. Use the same typeface in the same size and with the same leading for all of your body copy.
  3. Stay away from obvious correlations when selecting your typeface. Don’t use Papyrus because your subject is old and don’t use Comic Sans because your subject is light and funny. Actually, just avoid those two altogether!
  4. Use only one space after the end of a sentence instead of two.
  5. Use italics instead of underlines. Don’t underline anything, not even headlines or subheadings. Underlines cause a separation between the text that belongs together.
  6. When adjusting your leading (the line spacing), add 1 or 2 points to the type size. If you’re using 11 point type, use 12 or 13 point leading. Automatic line height does this for you, but never use less than that or your text will be difficult to read.
  7. Avoid using all caps, italics, or bold for long blocks of text. These are more difficult to read.
  8. Mark your paragraphs with either block style paragraphs or an indent. Just please don’t ever do both.
  9. Determine what the hierarchy of your project will look like ahead of time. You may discover that your project requires four different fonts for different headings. Does the typeface you want to use offer enough options for your needs? Does it feature all the characters that you require?
  10. Limit yourself. It may be tempting to get carried away with all the fun free fonts out there, but your project will look more professional and flow better if you stick to one or two typefaces.

What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!

Also check out: Ten typographic terms you should know

Brittany Giles is the Social Media Specialist at The Printing House.

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