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Print Newsletter Typesetting Tips

Read these 33 Print Newsletter Typesetting Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Newsletter tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What is the definition of kerning?

Kerning

Kerning refers to manually taking out space between characters (letters).

(You can usually find this tool available in most word processing programs.)

   
What is a typefont?

Font

A font (typefont) is the complete alphabet of any one type face in a given point size. It includes upper case letters, lower case letters, numerals, punctuation marks, etc.

(see "face")

   
What is a decorative typeface?

Decorative

Choose decorative typefonts when you need to set the mood or tone of a headline or are designing a logo. They are more elaborate and complicated in design and can usually be recognized by "descriptive" names such as "Halloween" (resembles blood dripping) and "Paperclip" (letters created using the parallel lines of a paperclip).

   
What is the definition of a river?

River

A river is when white space between words accidentally forms a "river" or blank channel running through a number of lines of copy.

   
What is a widow?

Widows

A widow refers to a very short line (often only one word) at the end of a paragraph of type. It is best if you either shorten or lengthen the last sentence to eliminate the widow.

   
What is a ballot box?

Ballot Box

A ballot box is a square provided for marking a choice usually by filling it in, or by making a check or an "X."

   
What is justified type?

Justify

When type is set flush left and flush right, automatic adjustments of spacing are made in your word processing program so that all lines of type are of equal length. Your copy is said to be justified.

   
What is a typefont?

Face

The term face or typeface is used to designate one style of type from another; the designation is also used to describe boldface, lightface, etc.

(see "font")

   
What is the definition of leading?

Leading

Leading (pronounced "ledding") is the term used to indicate the space between the lines of type. It is usually measured in points going from baseline to baseline.

   
What does boldface or bold type refer to?

Boldface or Bold Type

Boldface or bold type refers to letters that are heavier in weight than text type.

This is a sample of boldface type.

   
What is the definition of ascender?

Ascenders

Ascenders are the lines of lowercase type which extend above the x-height. These letters are b, d, f, h, k, l, and t.

   
What does flush left mean?

Flush Left/Right

Flush left (or right) is the term used to refer to typeset copy that is set to line up at the left (right) hand side of the page. If copy is said to be "flush left and flush right," it usually means the copy is to be set justified.

(see "Justify")

   
What is condensed type?

Condensed Type

Condensed type is a typeface designed so that the characters (letters) are narrower that regular type.

   
What is a sans-serif typeface?

Script Type

Script is a term for any typeface that is handwritten or imitates handwriting.

The best example of a script typeface is: Brush Script

   
What is the definition of expanded type?

Expanded Type

Expanded type refers to a typeface with letters that are designed extra wide as opposed to condensed type or regular type.

   
What is the definition of pica?

Picas

In composition, typesetters use a standard (or unit) of measurement referred to as pica. There are 12 points to one pica and six picas to one inch.

   
What is the definition of a dagger?

Dagger

A dagger is a reference mark used in footnotes. It looks like this: †

   
What is the definition of x-height?

X-height

The x-height, in type design, refers to the height of the main portion of the lower case letters, not including ascenders and descenders.

   
What is a bad break?

Bad Break

A bad break is an incorrect word division.

Example:
understan-
ding

should be:
understand-
ing

   
How many typefaces can be found within a typefont family?

Single Typefont, Many Looks

If you think you'll feel trapped by limiting yourself to one typefont in your newsletter, think again. By mixing and matching different typefaces, you'll create a visually appealing and coherent newsletter. Here are some choices: regular, regular italic, bold, bold italic, expanded, condensed, extra bold, ultra bold...and the list goes on!

   
What is a sans-serif typeface?

Sans-Serif Type

Sans-Serif ("sans" meaning "without") or non-serif is a term for any typeface that does not have fine cross-strokes appearing at the top and bottom of the letters of type.

The best examples of a sans serif typeface are: Helvetica and Arial

   
What should I do if the size of my reverse type looks too small?

Increase Type Size with Reverses

Because reverse type appears to shrink visually, choose a type size that is one to two points larger than originally designated on the marked up newsletter copy. Also, try to avoid large areas of reverse text. Reverses are more of an attention-getter and readers will have a tendency to lose interest in your article if too much of it is printed as such.

   
How can I type bullets on a standard typewriter?

Bullets

Are you using a standard typewriter to set copy and you need bullets for a list? Try this simple "quick fix!" Just type a lowercase or uppercase "o" (not zero "0") as a substitute. Then blacken in the center with the tip of a technical pen for an easy bullet!

   
What is the definition of a descender?

Descenders

Descenders are the lines of lowercase type which extend below the baseline. These letters are g, j, p, q, and y.

   
What is reverse type?

Reverse Type

Generally, reverse type is white letters on a black background. Try to avoid using typefaces with serifs such as Times Roman as the thin lines of the serifs have a tendency to fill in. Heavier typefaces such as Arial Bold better lend themselves to this design feature.

   
What is a sans-serif typeface?

Serif Type

Serif is a term for any typeface that does have fine cross-strokes appearing at the top and bottom of the letters of type.

The best examples of a serif typeface are: Times Roman and Goudy Oldstyle

   
Should I use a condensed typeface for body copy?

Using Condensed Type

Even if you prefer condensed typefaces over all the rest, they are not a good choice for body copy when you have adequate space for regular type. Condensed type should be reserved for instances where space requirements are limited.

   
What is the definition of letterspacing?

Letterspacing

Letterspacing is the insertion of extra points (space) between characters (letters) to spread them farther apart.

   
How can I typeset a headline in an emergency?

Low-Cost Headlines

Transfer lettering is one of the easiest ways to create display type for headlines in an emergency, or when you need a limited amount of a specialty typeface. The individual letters come on a dry transfer sheet and a burnisher is used to rub them off. Most brands, including Letraset, Zipatone, and Chartpak, come in point sizes ranging from 6 to 192 and may be purchased in commercial art supply retail stores.

   
What is the definition of pica?

Points

A point is a unit of linear measurement used in composition. There are 12 points to one pica and 72 points to one inch.

   
What does italic type refer to?

Italic Type

Italic type refers to letters that slope slightly to the right. They are sometimes referred to as "oblique."

This is a sample of italic type.

   
How can I use type sizes to make my newsletter look coherent?

3 is the Key!

Your newsletter will be more coherent looking if you use no more than three different point sizes of type. Depending on the typefont you choose, 10-11 points for text type, 14-18 for sub-heads, and 24-36 for headlines works best.

   
Can I produce a newsletter without a computer?

No Computer Access?

There are several other methods of creating text for a newsletter. Although typewriters usually only have one size of type, they can be used in a pinch. Try to find an electric typewriter with a carbon ribbon for the best typewritten copy.

Typewriters with memory are the next step up. In some cases, you can change typefonts by changing a printer wheel. Beyond that, you will find word processors (not to be confused with the word processing program on your computer!) They allow you to write and rewrite, move type around, make several copies of the same article, and adjust the type for centering and justifying.

If all else fails, spend the money and use a professional typesetter!

   
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Byron White