I don't recall what it is called but I've seen it in Book and Movie Titles for decades.
According the wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_...ication_titles
House Styles vary by publisher.
Sentence case, is what we use for Good Morning Sunshine. And you are right that it varies by publisher the main thing is that it needs to be consistent through out a publication whether printed or online.
It's all well and good having an article on good typography, but why spoil it by using white (and pink) text on a mid grey background. I must confess to giving up on it after a short while, my eyes were going blurry. But it was prior to my first coffee, which may have had something to do with it.
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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx.
That's a funny trend on the Web, I mean "strange" funny, not "ha-ha" funny.
Some design challenged folks are putting light grey text on white, and other really low contrast color combinations.
I want to smack them silly with a PANTONE swatch book.
Here's my Rule One for body text, in an ad, brochure, or book: I don't want the reader to ever be aware of it. If the font design is noticed, even slightly, it takes away from the selling message -- or from the author's story.
How not to be noticed? Go with familiarity, with what people are used to. On the web, Arial/Helvetica is AMAZINGLY enduring, what, 60 years now? And Times Roman, though not the most readable book face because of its narrow characters, sure fades into the background for readers, particularly with some extra line-spacing (leading).
Too restrictive for graphic designers? Sure. But in business, it's about sales -- so treat your viewers with maximum readability, and restrict your design side to headlines.
And here's Rule Two -- never, NEVER, reverse out body text in an ad or brochure or web page. Light body text on a dark background is horrible. Because when you make me work at reading, sorry, I'm off to somebody else's commercial.
Hi Jon, and thanks for your take on typography rules.
Can you qualify reverse text any better than "horrible"?
When I was in advertising, I actually interviewed with David Oglivy & Partners (finally landed at Saatchi instead, this was circa 1977), and they had a house rule against reverse text, and I asked why. And the best answer the Senior Art Directors could give me was because David said so.
"Font transparency" is a good goal. The other thing is: when you don't have anything to say, sing it...old adverting proverb—and that's the time to break out the weird fonts. Helvetica, yes, enduring. Times has also stuck around because of its eminent legibility, but dark text on a light background for the web and for print is a pair of handcuffs for a designer, and I don't even know the officer who is handcuffing me.
I disagree about reverse text in advertisements, if it is done right it will catch the readers attention which is what an ad needs to do. One line of bold text on a reverse bar will be an attention grabber, the rest of the text then needs to be able to convey the message and important items in the message should stand out
I had the 'reverse-text' rule pounded into me by a very nasty Art Director, Helmut Krone, when I started doing commercial art at DDB in the 'sixties. Worked on VW brochures, Avis collateral. He, and then I, were true believers in Bill Bernbach's advertising philosophy, which went along the lines of “The purpose of advertising is to sell. That is what the client is paying for and if that goal does not permeate every idea you get, every word you write, every picture you take, you are a phony and you ought to get out of the business.” And from that, if the body text is hard to read, they are off your ad and onto the next page.
We went, back then, on what seemed to make common sense. Not on research, not on focus groups. It is quite possible that research could show that reversed-body-text is as readable as not. But it isn't for me, and I doubt that it is for you.
Headlines are different, of course. But what I'm trying to get across here is that the ad isn't about the graphics; it is about the product and getting the reader to actually show up at the point of sale. Two more Bernbach quotes for you --
“Is creativity some obscure, esoteric art form? Not on your life. It’s the most practical thing a businessman can employ.”
“Merely to let your imagination run riot, to dream unrelated dreams, to indulge in graphic acrobatics and verbal gymnastics in NOT being creative. The creative person had harnessed his imagination. He has disciplined it so that every thought, every idea, every word he puts down, every line he draws, every light and shadow in every photograph he takes, makes more vivid, more believable, more persuasive the original theme or product advantage he has decided he must convey.”
Much later, ran my own business for 15 years. Ads, brochures, web, PR. I believed (and still do) that sales are the lifeblood of any business, and everything else, like finance, marketing, or HR, is just the icing on the cake. Back then, if I made an ad, a brochure, or a webpage for you, it helped increase your sales. It helped you get more qualified customers. The results were measurable, and our transaction was simple: you remained my customer as long as your increased sales justified my expense. And there was no way I going to screw that up with reversed-body-text in your next ad!
I don’t know why I skipped over a passage in your original post, but I must apologize: for body text, it’s folly to try reversing it out and maintaining legibility (so the potential customer can read it). For both human and Production reasons, you just can’t cast 12pt. Times in white against a dark background and read the thing, or maintain the serifs that make the font what it is (because of the trapping, or if no trapping, the bleed). Headline text, yeah. Body copy=nope.
I’d like to keep Frances’ thread open to non-advertising people, too (), so I submit that 10pt. and up sans serif text, white against a dark background on web pages is readable, whether it’s a blog or an advertisement. Sans serif fonts can be read more quickly onscreen than serifs (studies support this), and if everyone ran a black website with light or white text, we’re reduce power consumption to a significant extent, lighting up far fewer areas on users’ screens.
Last edited by Gare; 07 May 2012 at 01:50 PM.