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Sep 12 / Maryvi Nguyen

Type Crime:

en and em

Em & En:

  • Hyphen: Hell-o or 647-073…
  • En-Dash: 95-105 (to or til)
  • Em-Dash: John-a very nice guy-was at the bar. (separating thoughts)
  • En: shorter
  • Em: longer


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  1. Italics are not slanted letters. The wide, ungainly forms of these mechanically skewed letter look forced and unnatural.
  2. Scale contrast! The strong contrast between type size gives certain design dynamism, decisiveness, and depth while some minimal difference type size make a design tentative and arbitrary.
  3. Some typefaces that work well at large sizes look too fragile when reduced.
  4. Horizontal & vertical scaling. The proportions of the letter have been digitally distorted in order to create wider or narrower letters.
  5. Typefaces in the same family, but they are too close in weight to mix well.
  6. Tightly tracked text. Letter are tracked too close to comfort.
  7. Tracking lowercase letters. Loosely spaced lowercase letters-especially italics-look awkward because these characters are designed to sit closely together on a line.
  8. Poorly shaped text block.. In most uses, centered text should be broken into phrases with a variety of long and short lines.
  9. Full of holes. A column that is too narrow is full of gaps.
  10. Stacked lowercase.
  11. Too many signals. Emphasis can be created with just one shirt.
  12. Stack of lowercase and capital letters, the spaces between lines appear uneven because caps are tall but have no descenders. (CAPITAL investment CAPITAL punishment CAPITAL crime) Must adjust leading.
  13.  Typefaces stacked above one another but a slightly squeezed variant of the primary font has been used to make the line fit better.
  14. Quotation marks carve out chunks of white space from the edge of the text.
  15. Million of dollars a year are spent producing commercial signs that are fraught with typographic misdoing, While some of these signs are cheaply made over-the-counter products, others were designed for prominent businesses and institutions.


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