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Document Design: Basics and Typography Technical Communication, DAHMEN Aspects of Document Design Font/typography Color Graphics Layout Paper/media White space Symbols Size Terms for Typography Font—all sizes of a one type (originally just caps and lowercase)

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document design basics and typography

Document Design: Basics and Typography

Technical Communication, DAHMEN

aspects of document design
Aspects of Document Design
  • Font/typography
  • Color
  • Graphics
  • Layout
  • Paper/media
  • White space
  • Symbols
  • Size
terms for typography
Terms for Typography
  • Font—all sizes of a one type (originally just caps and lowercase)
  • Family—all fonts belonging to a group (Arial, Arial Black, Arial Narrow)
  • Weight—amount of vertical thickness (Extra Light, Light, Book, Medium, Semi-bold, Bold, Extra Bold and Black)
  • Kerning—adjusting space between letters (AV or To)
  • Tracking—adjusting space among words on a line
additional terms
Additional Terms
  • Pica-1/6 of an inch
  • Point-1/12 of a Pica, 1/72 of an inch
  • Ascenders & Descenders
  • Serif and Sans serif and Display fonts
visual cues for text
Visual Cues for Text
  • Underline
  • Bold
  • Larger Type
  • Symbols ♠
  • Use of white space


rules for typeface
Rules for Typeface
  • Use fonts of just 1 typeface
  • If you mix them, be consistent (headings vs. body text, e.g.)
  • Use italics, bold, and underline sparingly
  • Choose 10-12 points for body text
  • Make heading 2 points larger
  • Double space between headings and body
  • Larger type for slides
the rule of three
The ‘Rule of Three’

« Between one section of text and another try to limit your changes to no more than three… »


Heading 1: Arial Black, 15 Point, Green, Left aligned

Heading 2:Arial, 13 pt, Red, left aligned


Heading 2:Arial, 13 pt, italics, Green, Left-aligned


Heading 2: Brush Script, 13 pt, underlined, red, left aligned

aspects of contrast using type
Aspects of Contrast using Type
  • Size
  • Weight
  • Form
  • Direction
  • Color
using size
Using SIZE

can you believe I got


using weight
Using Weight

Make a Difference

Join now!













Williams, Robin. The Non-Designer’s Design Book. (Berkeley CA: PeachPit Press, 2004) 164.

rule for headings
Rule for Headings
  • Use them often
  • Keep them short
  • Use consistent format
  • Use them as aspect of design
what do headings do for us
What do Headings do for us?
  • Orients reader
  • Indicates importance of information
  • Allow navigation
  • Helps create tables of contents
  • Makes reading/scanning easier
aspects of page layout
Aspects of Page Layout
  • Define a visual hierarchy
  • Keep in mind the natural direction of the eye
  • Create areas of emphasis (text emphasis should match rhetorical emphasis)
  • Use white space and margins
  • Use lists, tables, boxes, columns
  • Use consistent layout across pages
principles of text blocking
Principles of Text Blocking
  • Information serving the same purpose should look the same
  • Position determines importance
  • Empty space emphasizes text
pitfalls to avoid slide 1
Pitfalls to Avoid (slide 1)
  • inappropriate column and margin spacing (size margins and space between columns proportionately)
  • trapped white space or holes in publications with neither graphics nor text
  • overstuffed pages (tiny type, lots of fonts and too many graphics)
  • headlines that are too small to stand out from the rest of the text or that are so large that the text fades into the background altogether
pitfalls to avoid slide 2
Pitfalls to Avoid (slide 2)
  • floating elements (headings or pictures with equal amounts of white space around them so that they are not connected to any text or caption)
  • copy-filled pages (short documents, like pamphlets or presentation slides with too much text)
  • inconsistent design for similar elements
  • widows and orphans(source: Roger Parker's Looking Good in Print, Ventana Press, 1993)
what do style sheets guides do
What do style sheets/guides do?
  • Consistent ‘look’ of document
  • Protects company/organization’s ‘image’
  • Keeps consistent terminology
  • Unifies aspects of writing (punctuation, capitalization, spelling)
  • Manage use of logos and symbols
web sites
Web Sites