Dear Before & After
I do a lot of business writing and wonder if you have articles that show ways of laying out instructions and text without the benefit of pictures — ways of inviting readers into an 8-1/2" x 11" page, with only Arial and Times New Roman. — Daryl
Several responses come to mind. First, Article 0669 Callout ideas, addresses your inquiry with suggestions for attracting readers into text-filled pages using quotes from your pages. Second, a recurring theme throughout Before & After’s articles is the use of the white space. Any page, whether paper or Web, can be beautiful through the designer’s use of text and surrounding space. Add your software’s amazing ability to change the size, color and spacing of the text, and your pages become artwork. Third, the back-issue articles we recommend for ways to use your typefaces for organization, emphasis and guiding your reader through your pages are the following: Issue 14’s Make an easy-to-read data sheet; 0615 Design a small chart; Issue 9’s How to typeset an interview; and 0643 Design Talk 7’s second idea, Differences establish hierarchy. One final observation: John McWade called Times Roman “A navy blue blazer, always appropriate,” in Issue 21’s What typefaces are best for text? And then on page 3 of What’s the right typeface for text — Times New Roman is the example font in the article’s first recommendation: “Pick a typeface with similar character widths.”
Dear Before & After
Issue 21’s “What typefaces are best for text?” is the one I refer to the most. Do you have more stories that analyze and recommend fonts? — Val
We love that article too. Many of our back-issue articles focus on type and the voice your choices convey to your reader. Almost every PDF has multiple typefaces listed on the resource pages, so you’ll know what fonts were used to produce our graphics and text. Issue 32 has a beautiful center spread titled “Frutiger is crystal clear.” (Get out some thumb tacks; you might end up with it as a poster on your wall.) Another of our most well-received articles in the series “Type, the visible voice” was on page 2 of Issue 23. The typeface is Interstate, and it represents the one used on federal roadway signage. Before & After’s publisher, John McWade, makes no secret of his love of typography. While the analysis is time consuming, and there are hundreds of books filled with chapters of long descriptions, John prefers that each article illustrate examples of typeface suggestions and usage. Issue 11 has page 12’s “Typeface Classification” facing page 13’s “Typeface Combinations” for advice and analysis of choosing text faces for your own type library. Then check out Issue 13’s “How to design a wordmark” and Issue 27’s “Discover the logo in your name.” We could go on and on; there are so many articles that jumped out as we pulled issues off the shelf and flipped through. An all-back-issues package is available, and, of course, the Before & After books are compilations of those print back issues too.