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A Powerhouse of Help…


Photoshop Tutorials

Photoshop Tutorials


Skin Tone Correction
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Printing Resources

Printing Resources

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Design Tips

Design Tips


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Catalog & Booklet Design
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Postcard Design


Common Typesetting Errors to Avoid
and Proper Typography Fundamentals


type icon

Sometimes a graphic designer throws caution to the wind and "breaks all the rules" on purpose, but this should be rare. There are hard-and-fast rules of correct typography, grammar, punctuation, and just "good taste" that should be followed for professional presentations.


  1. Use only one space after punctuation
    remember that typesetting does not follow the rules of typing
  2. Don't use double-hard returns after paragraphs
    professional use "space before paragraph" and "space after paragraph" instead
  3. Do not use hyphens as a substitute for the en dash and em dash
  4. Use proper typographical punctuation
    use single and double quotation marks (“a” NOT "a")
  5. Avoid "widows" and "orphans"
    a widow is paragraph-ending line that falls at the beginning of the following page/column, thus separated from the remainder of the text; an orphan is a paragraph-opening line that appears by itself at the bottom of a page/column or a word, part of a word, or very short line that appears by itself at the end of a paragraph
  6. Periods, commas and quote marks
    (in the USA)  periods and commas go INSIDE quotation marks:
    incorrect: “after”,     correct: “before,” closing quotation marks
  7. Use fewer fonts
    You should stick to one serif font (like Times or Courier) and one sans serif font (like Arial or Helvetica) unless your are versed in professional typography. Mixing too many font faces and styles looks garish and is the mark of an amateur
  8. Use plenty of white space
    leave lots of white space for easy reading
  9. Use italics sparingly
  10. Use ALL CAPS and bold sparingly
    Over-use of all capitals and bold type appear as if they are yelling at the reader
  11. Use flush left type (ragged-right) & fully justified type (more formal)
    choose type alignment carefully; use centered text sparingly, there are only a few instances where centering type works well, such as an invitation
  12. Never use script fonts in all caps
  13. Using italics, not underlining
    underlining is the way people who type a manuscript indicate to the typesetter that certain words or phrases should be italicized

By taking care to avoid these common typesetting errors and following traditional typography methods your documents will have a much more polished and professional appearance.




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