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Good typography can add tremendous power to your design and your message, whether it is a print- or screen-based project, a still or motion graphic, a 3D or 2D graphic. This course explains good typographic practices, so that you can develop an "eye" for type and understand how to effectively use it. Author Ina Saltz explains type classifications (serif vs. sans serif, display type vs. text type), how type is measured, sized, and organized, and how spacing and alignment affect your design. She also explains how to use kerning, tracking, leading, and line length, and covers the history and current trends in typography. The course teaches the principles of legibility, readability, and compatibility, and how they should be considered when you're selecting and designing with type.
You might not think of numbers as special, but they're quite different from our Latin letters. They come down to us from Hindu-Arabic forms, which is why you may remember hearing the term Arabic numerals. You may have noticed that some fonts have numbers that are all the same height. These are called lining numbers. They work well with capital letters, because they are designed to have the same height and weight. Tabular numbers are all the same height too, but with a difference. They have a fixed width to ensure that columns of data align correctly, creating well-balanced tables and charts.
You may also have noticed that some fonts have numbers that have different heights and baselines, these are called old-style numbers. These varying heights correspond to the lowercase with its descenders and ascenders. They are intended for use within text so that they blend into the color of the text. Lining figures look uncomfortable within text, because they stick out too much. So if the font you are using only has lining figures, you can minimize the problem by reducing the point size of the numbers a bit, it's not ideal, but it's a good fix.
Better yet, look for a typeface with both lining and old-style numbers. Many type designers now release both sets of numbers with their typefaces so they'll be more useful. Let's not forget about fractions. Most fonts have a set of the most common fractions and they are designed to have the proper weight to work with text type. But what if you need to use 5/32nds? There are specialized typefaces that have extensive sets of fractions and typefaces that have special numbers designed to be combined into any fractions you need to create, we call these properly weighted fractionals.
When working with numbers, remember to match up their use with their height. Use old-style numbers within text and tabular numbers when designing tables and charts. When designing with all caps, use lining numbers. Combine that with using properly weighted fractionals, and that's all it takes to work with numbers like a pro.
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