Gertrude Stein and Slides

We are giving a talk, say, about growing roses, so we put a slide of favorite rose varieties up on the…

Big Screen Behind You

You stand at a podium looking out at glazed-over eyes. Behind you, your PowerPoint slides. You are an instructor in a big auditorium or a boss at a meeting. Your slides are on a big screen behind you. Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose common sense. Gertrude Stein 1 Perhaps…

Good Rags No Widows No Orphans

Something beautiful there is about letters in words across a page. We read for the pleasure of the eyes as well as the mind's sense of what the words mean. To know just a bit about what makes a page of text beautiful for the eyes can increase our pleasure in reading and the likelihood…

Digital Type and the Brush

Benefits of handwriting and brush work at the end of a day writing in digital type

Rags and Justified Text

This post is an introduction to alignment typesetting and an encouragement to look at the details of alignment choices out in the world. Regarding text alignment, there is left-aligned, centered, right-aligned, and justified text. In left-aligned text, the words are in rows one below the other on the left side of the page, and the right…

Between the Lines with MS Word

MS Word: Paragraph Dialogue Box Can a Good Page Be Designed with Microsoft Word? If you work with Adobe InDesign every day, this blog post may not interest you, especially if you are part of the design gentry offended by a sentence that contains both "design" and "Microsoft Word." Ah yes, from the design perspetive, there…

The All-Caps Hazard for Writers

Vintage Bar/Restaurant Sign Most readers of English have no trouble reading the HOT BEER sign above, even though the letters are all uppercase, generally considered a typography hazard (a practice that risks confusing, alienating, or losing readers). So right away, this HOT BEER sign in this post is an alert that there are many great…

Letterform Basics for Writers

When grapefruits were 5 cents and oranges a penny, grocers hand printed their own signs and they did well. They just wrote: "APPLES DELICIOUS 4 LB 25¢" and they sold apples. Union Leader, 7-Up, Beech Nut, Copenhagen Cigars, and Model Tobacco (the advertisers) thought the letterforms were just fine, even though the advertisers had their own…

Design-It-Yourself and the Possibility of Uncolonized Minds

D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself, Ellen Lupton, editor. As drawing, painting, theater, dance, and music classes have disappeared from many American schools and so too from our homework-help sessions, some parents wonder where our children will begin to learn how and why to make something beautiful and meaningful. Everyone is a scientist/engineer now, everyone is a writer,…

What Need for Design the Writer Said

More than ornate frill, the design of a page can make written words sing or disappear.