Text Layout (Reading Notes)

Typography exists to honor content.

One of the principles of durable typography is always legibility. Another is sth more than legibility: some earned or unearned interest that gives its living energy to the page. It takes various forms and goes by various names, including serenity, liveliness, laughter, grace and joy.

Letters have a life and dignity of their own. They dance in their seats. Sometimes they rise and dance in the margins and aisles.

Typography is to literature as musical performance is to composition.


  1. Read the text before designing it
  2. Discover the outer logic of the typography in the inner logic of the text
  3. Make the visible relationship between the text and other elements( photographs, captions, tables, diagrams, notes) a reflection of their real relationship.
  4. Choose a typeface or a group of faces that will honor and elucidate the character of the text.
  5. Shape the page and frame of the textblock so that it honors and revels every element, every relationship between elements, and every logical nuance of the text.
  6. Give full typographic attention even to incidental details.

From: Lupton-Modern_Hieroglyphics

5 degrees to see details

“see details” can process a row of around 12 characters

the straight line alignment of 4+-1mm (3,4,5) : balack line combinations on the white ground
From:Masaaki Hiromura – “Characters and the Eye,” from Ji Born: A Book of Letters and Characters (This is a longer selection of Hiromura’s text, from which the excerpt was taken)

universal symbols

from: Ellen Lupton – “Modern Hieroglyphics,” from Design, Writing, Research


line break

outdent, or hanging indentation

line space

express the meaning of a word or an idea through the sapcing, sizing and placement of letters on the page
(disruption, expansion, migration)


from: lupton – samples


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