Typography Tips

Katie Durkin
2 min readNov 27, 2020


Prior to this editorial project I have been guilty of paying no attention to what my body copy looks like. Following a lecture on typography we were told about 8 simple rules that I have taken into account while planning my layout.

1. Flush left, rag right
Western culture reads left to right so allows for an easy read. Spaces in text creates rivers which is white space between words and can make body copy look dis-jointed; this can be avoided by flushing left.

2. Limit your typefaces
Consider the typefaces you pair together, try and avoid typefaces from the same classification; although they can sometimes work well they are not always suitable. Limit to two or three typefaces.

3. Skip a weight
Create a contrast in type weights, going from light to bold or medium to extra bold — small changes can be difficult for the reader to notice, making the contrast clear makes it easier to read.

4. Double point size
Headline should be around double the point size of the body copy, sub headers should be half the size.

5. Get a handle on ‘widows’ and ‘orphans’
Widows are lines of text in a paragraph that have moved over to the next column. An orphan is the same but it’s a word. Text length can be adjusted to change this

“Orphans are alone at the beginning, widows are alone at the end”

6. Prioritise readability
Only use ornamental typefaces for headlines. When you can use Adobe Fonts rather than other sites like dafont.com, they are free because they haven’t been developed properly therefore need a lot of adjusting in order to make them suitable for use. Line length is crucial, narrow columns mean text is read quickly and wider columns mean text is read slower which makes them more suitable when there is a lot of information.

7. Large text must be kerned
Kerning can become too tight or too loose when text is enlarged, this will need to be adjusted to ensure there is equal space between each letter. Positive tracking is when there is more space between letters, negative tracking is when there is less space between letters.

8. Print it out
By printing things out you can notice faults that can’t be seen on the screen, this gives you chance to make amendments where necessary ready for final printing