Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Optically aligning a book cover title, part of Type Tips Weekly.
- [Instructor] In this weeks Type Tips I'm gonna talk about issues of optical alignment specifically with the title of this book. So this is the finished version and once you've seen it it looks like an obvious solution, but there were a few steps involved in getting to this. Let me show you how it begins. I should mention that I'm using this lovely font, it's called blackriver, it's available on Creative Market.
So you type out the text and it looks like this. So much wrong with this. Obviously we don't want to break the name across two lines and having everything at the same size means that we are just lacking all impact. So that lead me to work with two different sizes and break the title across four lines, aligning the text centered, but there's a few things that are wrong with this.
Because of the large decorative caps that begin each word Sherlock and Holmes they don't really fit together very well. Also the line and other stories seems uncomfortable in its present position. That seems like it wants to move to the right and tuck under into this space and the adventures of to balance that out seems like it needs to go a little bit to the left. Now generally in InDesign I'm all in favor of keeping things in a single text frame wherever possible, but in a case like this I'm just gonna have more flexibility if I separate this out into four separate text frames.
That way I can just nudge each text frame a little bit to the left or to the right as needed. So I'm gonna come to my finished layer and if we look on the pace board I have my starting point of each word in its own text frame. The text is centered.
Let's actually just adjust the width of those text frames, so that they correspond to the width of the inner frame. I'll come and lock the other layers so that I can't interfere with them and I'll also hide my baseline grid and hide my guides. So firstly I am concerned with the relationship between Sherlock and Holmes. I don't typically do this, but I'm finding it a little visually distracting.
I'm going to hide the frame edges. Now if I select Holmes and I nudge that up the h is gonna get too close to the baseline of the line above. Before I do this I'm going to select all of these frames and come to my text frame options and make them into auto-size frames, otherwise, the text is gonna start to fall out of the frames as I do the resizing.
So I'm gonna select this h and I'm gonna use a baseline shift to nudge it down. Let me just point out that in my preferences and Windows users your preference will be under the edit menu, units and increments. I've changed my baseline shift increment to give me more control and while here you may also just check that kerning and tracking is set to one should we need to do any of that and sizing and leading also to one. The keyboard shortcut for baseline shift is Shift + Option up or down arrow or Shift + Alt up or down arrow.
On the control panel it's this option. So I'm just gonna nudge that down a little bit and in terms of how far I go I'm gonna draw myself a guide to the top of the caps and nudge down as far as that. That's now gonna allow me to nudge the whole frame up and I also want to nudge it over so that it corresponds with the vertical stress of the h above.
Now I'm gonna get the adventures of and I have this in a frame that is stretched to the width of the interior frame, but I'm actually going to double click on the right hand handle of that to fit the frame to the content and then I will Command + Shift + L left aligned within that frame. Now I'll just drag this into position using that same guide.
Now to balance the composition I want to put and other stories to the right. I will right align the text within its frame Command + Shift or Control + Shift + R and then double click on the bottom left handle to fit the frame to the content. I already have a guide drawn to the ... Not quite actually. Let me get that in exactly the right position. Let's move that guide.
That guide doesn't seem to want to move. So I'm just gonna delete that one and draw another one to the right edge of the s and now I'm gonna position the text frame and other stories relative to that guide. Let's have a line on the baseline of the large h and we will nudge and other stories down to share that same baseline.
Let's turn off the guides and that essentially is what I'm after. I now think that the whole thing would benefit from some increase of scale. So I'm going to select all four frames press Command or Control + G to group them together. Now to size proportionally from the center point I'm gonna hold down Command + Option and Shift or Control + Alt + Shift and drag from the bottom right handle.
So there are some things to think about when working on a title treatment. Of course the specifics will vary according to the size and to the typeface you're using and also to the actually characters that you're using.