Before the written word came into being, speech was the primary form of communication. Over the centuries it has evolved into many languages, each with its own individual ability to express hundreds of thoughts and feelings through a unique vocabulary, as well as many nuances of sounds and pronunciation.

When we speak, we communicate our message both verbally and nonverbally. Some of the verbal techniques we use include the inflection and tone of our voice, the volume of our speech in general or of particular words and phrases, the speed at which we speak and say certain words, as well as pauses. Nonverbal communication consists of facial expressions, including movement of the eyes and surrounding muscles, the mouth and lips; the tilt of the head and neck; hand, arm, and shoulder movements; and body posture and total body movement. We often do not realize how much of what we communicate and what we hear and perceive from others is relayed nonverbally.

When communication takes the form of the printed word, none of the above techniques can be directly applied to conveying a message to your audience. In their place, however, there are many typographic techniques that can be used to make up for these missing elements and communicate your message in the most effective way possible. The more information you have to present, the more challenging it is to convey it all in the right sequence with the right emphasis. It is essential to pay close attention ...

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