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Explore the numerous type options, type-related features, and type-specific preferences of Adobe InDesign. Using practical, real-world examples, instructor and designer Nigel French dissects the anatomy of a typeface and defines the vocabulary of typography. The course moves from the micro to the macro level, addressing issues such as choosing page size, determining the size of margins, adjusting number columns, and achieving a clean look with baseline grids. This course takes you from laying out a page to delving into the hows and whys of typography.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of choosing our different character formats -- font, font style, point size, etc -- let's talk about some of the design considerations that are involved in doing that. Here I have a finished document: the Roux Academy of Art and Design catalog. And this is a fictitious college, and there are numerous documents created around this for use in lynda.com courses. Now, in creating this, there were a number of factors that went into the typeface selection, and the way that typeface or typefaces were used.
First of all, there are the macro design considerations, like the page size, the size of the margins, and the number of columns. These are all going to influence the use of type. So this is our standard column width. It's rather narrow, which means that we need to make sure our typeface isn't too big, so that we have enough characters per line, or our column measure is sufficiently wide to get enough characters per line. How much is enough? Well, different people have different standards, but in this case, if I look at the Info panel, we can see that we have somewhere in the region of about 35 to 40 characters per line.
Given the nature of this document, I would say that that's just about enough. The typeface that has been used is Adobe Garamond Pro, and this was chosen for a number of different reasons. One, it's very readable. It is a serif typeface. The general rule of thumb -- and it is a general rule of thumb to which there are many, many exceptions -- is that serif typefaces are more readable in print, as opposed to sans serif typefaces.
We also see this document does contain sans serif typefaces for the course names, and for other headings. We will be talking about combining fonts in just a moment. So we've chosen a serif typeface. The point size is 9.5 points, and that has been chosen so that it allows enough characters per line. The default point size when you just type in onto a blank page is 12 points. This in print is too big.
If you're preparing a document for use onscreen, that's another matter. We will be talking in an upcoming chapter about considerations for screen typography, but for print, we want somewhere in the region -- and it will vary according to the typeface you have chosen, and your audience, and also, let's not forget your own personal preference, which is a massive factor to consider -- but it's going to vary somewhere between about 8.5 and 11 point, in terms of the body text.
So another consideration has been the alignment. The alignment here is left aligned, or to put it another way, it's ragged, and that has been chosen because we do have a narrow column. If we were to attempt to justify this text, we would likely, with columns this narrow, end up with big spaces between the words. Another consideration, and a very important one that sets the rhythm of the document, is the leading value. And the leading value is this one here; that is the space between the lines.
The default setting for the leading value is something called auto leading, which will give you a leading value that is a 120% of your point size. And that's always a bad idea to use the auto leading setting for text. I will be talking specifically about that in the chapter on leading. Another reason Adobe Garamond Pro has been chosen is that it comes in not just the regular weight, but also italic, bold, and bold italic, giving us a certain amount of variety and flexibility within that same typeface family.
Another reason is that this particular font is a Pro font; it's an OpenType font, which means that it's going to have an extended character set. And if we look at the Glyphs panel, the Glyphs panel is going to show as all of the available characters for this typeface, and that's important, especially if you're working with multilingual publishing, or if you just want a lot of typographic extras, like ligatures, and different numbering styles, then an OpenType Pro font will give you those.
And let's not forget the other reason that this has been chosen, and that is because it's available. It comes installed with InDesign, so it's convenient. Now, we shouldn't confuse convenience with lowering our standards, but convenience, in this case, is a big factor, and the typefaces that I am choosing throughout this course are, for the most part, those that come installed with InDesign, and that's just because if you are following along, you can choose those typefaces too.
I mentioned earlier on how this document combines the use of serif typefaces for the continuous reading text with sans serif typefaces for the heads, for the class names, and for the captions. And this is a very common technique, and you see this technique used again, and again, and again in various different ways in all sorts of publications: serif typeface for the body text, sans serif for the heads and the subheads. This gives us contrast, and contrast is a very important factor when combining typefaces.
The sans serif typeface family that has been used is Myriad Pro, and this has been chosen for many of the same reasons that I chose the Adobe Garamond Pro. It's available, it comes in a range of weights, and in this case, widths also, and it's an OpenTypeface, which means that we have an extended character set. Myriad Pro, especially when used in its bold weights, and it's semibold weights, I feel contrasts well with the sans serif typeface Adobe Garamond Pro.
Of course, that's just a personal opinion, but I think it works particularly well. But that combination of serif and sans serif is one that you see again, and again, and again. So those are just some of the considerations that we will be talking about, particularly in this chapter, but also in some of the next chapters which follow.
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