Summary of key rules
  1. The four most im­por­tant ty­po­graphic con­sid­er­a­tions for body text are point size, line spac­ing, line length, and font (see font rec­om­men­da­tions), be­cause those choices de­ter­mine how the body text looks.

  2. Point size should be 10–12 points in printed doc­u­ments, 15-25 pix­els on the web.

  3. Line spac­ing should be 120–145% of the point size.

  4. The av­er­age line length should be 45–90 char­ac­ters (in­clud­ing spaces).

  5. The eas­i­est and most vis­i­ble im­prove­ment you can make to your ty­pog­ra­phy is to use a pro­fes­sional font, like those found in font rec­om­men­da­tions.

  6. Avoid goofy fonts, mono­spaced fonts, most free fonts, and sys­tem fonts—es­pe­cially Times New Ro­man and Ar­ial.

  7. Use curly quo­ta­tion marks, not straight ones (see straight and curly quotes).

  8. Use bold or italic as lit­tle as pos­si­ble, and not together.

  9. Never un­der­line, ex­cept per­haps for web links.

  10. All caps are fine for less than one line of text.

  11. Use cen­tered text sparingly.

  12. Put only one space be­tween sen­tences.

  13. Don’t use mul­ti­ple word spaces or other white-space char­ac­ters in a row.

  14. If you don’t have real small caps, don’t use them at all.

  15. Use 5–12% ex­tra let­terspac­ing with all caps and small caps.

  16. Kern­ing should al­ways be turned on.

  17. Use first-line in­dents that are one to four times the point size of the text, or use 4–10 points of space be­tween para­graphs. Don’t use both.

  18. Al­ways use hy­phen­ation with jus­ti­fied text.

  19. Don’t con­fuse hy­phens and dashes, and don’t use mul­ti­ple hy­phens as a dash.

  20. Use am­per­sands spar­ingly, un­less in­cluded in a proper name.

  21. Use proper trade­mark and copy­right sym­bols—not al­pha­betic approximations.

  22. In a doc­u­ment longer than three pages, one ex­cla­ma­tion point is plenty (see ques­tion marks and ex­cla­ma­tion points).

  23. Put a non­break­ing space af­ter para­graph and sec­tion marks.

  24. Make el­lipses us­ing the proper char­ac­ter, not pe­ri­ods and spaces.

  25. Apos­tro­phes point downward.

  26. Make sure foot and inch marks are straight, not curly.

undock move Equity Valkyrie Century Supra Concourse Hermes Maia Triplicate buy font close