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Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Mar 17 / Arielle Nabors

type crimes. these are notes about them.

First: check out the super awesome examples of Type Crimes that I found over Spring Break. That’s right, homework over Spring Break. Oh well.

Type Crime Book2

Second: I found out about these Type Crimes in Ellen Lupton’s book Thinking with Type. Also, Ellen’s book has a super helpful website, so if you aren’t able to get your hands on a hard copy of this masterpiece, check out the website. Below you’ll find the page number & a link to the crime, if available. Neat!

1] Horizontal & Vertical Scaling [pg. 38]: font families have set widths for a reason, don’t scale these out of proportion.

2] Optical Sizes [pg. 41]: “some typefaces that work well at large sizes look too fragile when reduced.”

3] Scale Contrast [pg. 42]: minimal differences in type size do not make a drastic enough statement in design. Go big or go home.

4] Pseudo Italics [pg. 48]: sometimes italics aren’t italics, but the font at a slant. Gross.

5] Adjusted Leading [pg. 52]: watch out for uneven leading between text lines, descenders can throw this off.

6] Pseudo Small Caps [pg. 52]: creating small caps when they haven’t been designed into a font family is so lame. Don’t.

7] Mixed Typefaces [pg. 54]: when mixing font sizes/weights/styles, be cautious that the difference is effective.

8] Quotation Marks/ Hatch Marks [pg. 58-59]: so many things about quotation marks, but don’t use a hatch mark where a quote is needed; and don’t create a gaping hole in your body of text by not using hanging quotes.

9] Tightly Tracked Text [pg. 104]: occasionally, tracking a little closer or farther might be a good design move, but don’t get too crazy, your eyes will start to cross.

10] Auto Spacing [pg. 108]: Similar to adjusted leading, auto spacing between lines of text can yield some unfortunate results.

11] Text Block/ Holes/ Ragged Edge [pg. 112-113]: just check out the link here. there are so many things.

12] Stacked Lowercase [pg. 120]: stacking lowercase creates an odd design & according to Lupton, “Roman letters are designed to sit side by side, not on top of one another.”

13] Too Many Signals [pg. 127]: ” Using paragraph spacing and indents together squanders space and gives the text block a flabby, indefinite shape.

14] Too Many Signals .2 [pg. 133]: using bold, italic, underline, and caps all at the same time? You probably shouldn’t.

15] Data Prison [pg. 204]: If you ever find yourself in the horrible position of working with data, at least don’t imprison it.

16] Dashes/Dumb Quotes/Spacing [pg. 211]: there’s a difference between a hyphen, em dash, & en dash. figure it out because it’s real life.

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