Notes to chapter four
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Notes to Chapter Four. English 308. Linear Components. Are the most basic element of text design—the letters, words, numbers and other intra-level forms Though physically small, they can have significant—even striking—rhetorical effects. We focus on linear components because.

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Notes to Chapter Four

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Notes to chapter four

Notes to Chapter Four

English 308

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Linear components

Linear Components

  • Are the most basic element of text design—the letters, words, numbers and other intra-level forms

  • Though physically small, they can have significant—even striking—rhetorical effects.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


We focus on linear components because

We focus on linear components because

  • Readers frequently process messages one piece at a time, so even small areas of text can have significant functional value.

  • Linked together, linear components have a cumulative effect on the overall visual language of a document.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


The three coding modes

The Three Coding Modes

  • Textual

  • Spatial

  • Graphic

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Textual elements typeface

Textual Elements: Typeface

  • What to look for?

  • Serifs

  • X-height

  • Width

  • Line quality

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Serifs

Serifs

Serifs are the finishing strokes—the “feet”—on the ends of letters.

Some typefaces have them, and some don’t.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Common serif typefaces

Common Serif Typefaces

  • ABCDabcd (Times)

  • ABCDabcd (Palatino)

  • ABCDabcd (Century Schoolbook)

  • ABCDabcd (Bookman)

  • ABCDabcd (Courier)

  • ABCDabcd (Garamond)

  • ABCDabcd (Zapf Chancery)

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Common sans serif typefaces

Common Sans Serif Typefaces

  • ABCDabcd (Arial)

  • ABCDabcd (Helvetica)

  • ABCDabcd (Avant Garde)

  • ABCDabcd (Franklin Gothic)

  • ABCDabcd (Letter Gothic)

  • ABCDabcd (Verdana)

  • ABCDabcd (Comic Sans)

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


X height

X-Height

  • The vertical height of the middle part of a typeface;

  • the height of a lower case x in a given font compared to letters with ascenders (such as h) or descenders (such as p)

  • The greater the x-height the more room the font appears to occupy.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


The effects of x height

The Effects of X-height

d dd

x-height

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Ascenders and descenders

Ascenders and Descenders

jello

ascender

x-height

descender

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Width

Width

  • The horizontal space occupied by the typeface. Some examples:

  • abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz (Zapf Chancery)

  • abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz (Times)

  • abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz (Helvetica)

  • abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz (Palatino)

  • abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz (Bookman)

  • abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz (Avant Garde)

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


The three page paper

The Three Page Paper?

This text is set in Times New Roman. Because Times New Roman is a relatively narrow typeface, more letters can be set on a line. That means more words can be set on a page. In fact, the ratio between Times New Roman and a wider font such as Century Schoolbook or Bookman (two very common typefaces used in printing textbooks) is nearly 3 to 4. In other words, three pages of Times New Roman text, double-spaced in 12 point type with one-inch margins all around would be a little less than 1000 words. Three pages of Bookman text, double-spaced in 12 point type with one-inch margins all around would be a little more than 750 words. The three pages of Times New Roman text would take up 3 and ¾ pages if set in Bookman. Don’t you wish you knew that earlier in your college career?

3 page paper in Times

4 page paper in Bookman

3 page paper in Bookman

2 ½ page paper in Times

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Line quality

Line Quality

  • How thick or thin the lines are

  • Whether the lines vary in width or have a constant width

  • Typefaces whose lines don’t vary in width are called monoline typefaces (such as Avant Garde, Helvetica, and Geneva)

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Type size

Type Size

  • Type is measured in points, with each point equal to 1/72 of an inch

    BBBB

    72 pts 36 pts 18 pts 12 pts

    1 in. ½ in. ¼ in. 1/6 in.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Type size and space

Type Size and Space

8Type size also affects horizontal space.

10Type size also affects horizontal space.

12Type size also affects horizontal space.

14Type size also affects horizontal space.

16Type size also affects horizontal space.

18Type size also affects horizontal space.

20Type size also affects horizontal space.

24Type size also affects horizontal space.

28Type size also affects horizontal space.

32Type size also affects horizontal space.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Type treatments

Type Treatments

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Type conventions

Type Conventions

  • Some conventions may govern your choices—the kind of document, the organization you are writing or working for, even the cultural background of the audience might be factors.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Spatial elements

Spatial Elements

  • Direction of text flow (left-to-right)

  • Horizontal spacing between characters and words

  • Vertical spacing between characters and words

  • Special Treatments

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Horizontal spacing

Horizontal Spacing

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Kerning

Kerning

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Vertical spacing

Vertical Spacing

  • Vertical spacing on the line level is limited to superscript and subscript

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Special treatments

Special Treatments

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Graphic elements

Graphic Elements

  • Punctuation Marks

  • Linework and shading

  • Iconic Letter Forms

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Punctuation marks

Punctuation Marks

  • While most conventional marks are consistent in meaning, a few are not. For example, the British use a comma instead of a decimal:£24,375,90While Americans use the decimal:$18,674.82

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Linework and shading

Linework and Shading

Includes

  • Underscored or underlined text

  • Strikethrough text

  • Text with gray scale background

  • Boxed text

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Iconic letter forms

Iconic Letter Forms

Typefaces that look like their subject:

  • Bloody Typeface

  • Ironwood Typeface

  • Igloocaps typeface

  • Zipper type

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Applying the cognate strategies

Applying the Cognate Strategies

How do we apply this rich visual vocabulary to lines of text?

We can do so by considering the six cognate strategies.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Arrangement questions

Arrangement Questions

  • How can I design the message so I can keep readers moving smoothly along a line of text?

  • How can I signal the relation between one piece of text and another?

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Arrangement strategies

Arrangement Strategies

  • Grouping by common type style

  • Grouping by common type size

  • Using type size to suggest hierarchy

  • Adjusting type spacing to make appropriate use of space (a concision and ethos issue as well)

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Emphasis questions

Emphasis Questions

  • What parts of the message need to stand out?

  • What do I want readers to see first and to remember?

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Emphasis strategies

Emphasis Strategies

  • Varying type size—larger type means more emphasis

  • Varying font weight—bold and other heavy type treatments mean more emphasis

  • Using graphic elements—underlined, boxed, and shaded text stands out

    CAUTION: Too much emphasis will degrade figure-ground contrast making everything stand out less. Excessive emphasis also undermines ethos because readers will cease to believe that anything is important.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Clarity questions

Clarity Questions

  • How can I ensure that each line of text will be legible in the context where readers will encounter it?

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Clarity strategies

Clarity Strategies

  • Choose a legible type style—although studies show little difference across typefaces, some typefaces are easier to read than others.

  • Choose a “comfortable” type style—familiar typefaces are easier to process than unfamiliar ones, though unfamiliar ones might be useful for grabbing the reader’s attention

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Clarity strategies continued

Clarity Strategies (continued)

  • Choose serif fonts for blocks of text

  • Reserve sans serif fonts for “display” situations (charts, headings, titles, etc.)

  • Type sizes below 10 points should be used only in extreme situations

  • Type sizes above 12 points should not be used for blocks of text

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Clarity strategies continued1

Clarity Strategies (continued)

  • Avoid uppercase only

  • Use boldface sparingly (boldface adds emphasis but degrades figure-ground contrast)

  • Use italics sparingly

  • Use condensed or widened text judiciously

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Conciseness questions

Conciseness Questions

  • How can I get the most impact for the least use of design elements?

  • How can I avoid over-designing a line of text?

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Conciseness strategies

Conciseness Strategies

  • San serif fonts are more concise (less visual detail) than serif fonts

  • Small type sizes are more concise

  • Condensed text is more concise

  • But in all cases, you must consider the trade-offs between conciseness and clarity

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Tone questions

Tone Questions

  • How do I want the linear components to sound to my readers?

  • Serious, friendly, formal, funny, matter-of-fact, personable, technical?

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Tone strategies

Tone Strategies

  • Tone varies greatly from one typeface to another, though no one really knows why. For example, do these messages “sound” the same?Please contact me with any questions.Please contact me with any questions.Please contact me with any questions.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Tone strategies continued

Tone Strategies (continued)

  • Formality: Consider how formal the typeface looks.

  • Generally the formality is based on convention.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Tone strategies continued1

Tone Strategies (continued)

So

UPPER CASE TEND TO LOOK FORMAL

Perhaps because of the square, chiseled look like in this font called Albertus

THIS LOOKS LIKE IT WAS CARVED IN STONE.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Tone strategies continued2

Tone Strategies (continued)

Script fonts tend to look formal

Perhaps because of its use in certificates, diplomas, official notices, invitations:

This looks pretty fancy. I think you will need your tuxedo.

This also looks formal, though more serious too.

While this doesn’t look formal at all.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Tone strategies continued3

Tone Strategies (continued)

Some typefaces are clearly informal, like:

This typeface imitates children’s writing.

This typeface imitates Matisse’s signature.

This one reminds me of Gilligan’s Island.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Tone strategies continued4

Tone Strategies (continued)

We can even take a formal typeface and loosen it up a bit:

HERE IS ALBERTUS AGAIN, BUT THE TYPE TREATMENT MAKES IT SEEM LESS IMPOSING.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Tone strategies continued5

Tone Strategies (continued)

We also must consider the “technicality” of the type. Technical typefaces look as if they were created by a machine.

Univers reminds me of HAL in 2001.Letter gothic is like your dad’s old printer.

OCRA means clones have taken over.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Tone strategies continued6

Tone Strategies (continued)

Of course, the visual tone of typefaces is a complex and somewhat mysterious subject. Again, you will have to take into account the rhetorical situation and some knowledge of convention to make your choices.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Ethos questions

Ethos Questions

  • How can I design linear components so they create credibility for me, the other authors, or the organization?

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Ethos strategies

Ethos Strategies

  • Match the typeface with the subject

  • Create a professional look

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Ethos strategies continued

Ethos Strategies (continued)

Match the typeface with the subject

These choices create credibility problems

No late work will be accepted.

No late work will be accepted.

No late work will be accepted.

NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


Ethos strategies continued1

Ethos Strategies (continued)

Create a professional look

These choices create credibility problems

Before submitting your paper, make sure that you proofread it and correct all errors.

BEfore submitting your paper, make sure that you proffread it and correct all errors.

Designing Visual Language-Chapter 4


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