Chapter 8. Polish: Finessing the Fine Points

Now that we’ve covered the basics of type choice and implementation, it’s good to remind ourselves that this is the beginning of our typographic work, not the end! Well, it could be, and you’d still be far ahead of most sites on the Web these days. But there’s a lot more you can do to enrich the reading experience.

Start with the Details—Then Get Really Specific

Beyond choosing good typefaces, a number of other elements in your typographic design influence aesthetics and readability. Some of these are tied to your design, such as line length; others are more tied to the nature of fluid design or more traditional elements of good typography. Orphans are a good example of the latter complicated by the former: leaving a single word on a line at the end of a paragraph. This is an aesthetic faux pas easily prevented in print but deceptively difficult when the length of your lines of text keep changing on every device.

While it’s not foolproof, there is something you can do to prevent orphans relatively easily. It may be true that the Web and responsible standards-based approaches to designing require flexibility on the part of the site owner and designer, but there is no need to throw up your hands and give up on using type well altogether.

Little Orphan  

Just because line lengths and ...

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