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The New Typography 2006

What will be the results?

Of course, these are just guesses on my part. But here they are for what they are worth:

Flush left no longer required: Justified body copy will come to be seen as the high quality choice. Flush left has been taught as the quality choice only because Quark and PageMaker did such a poor job of justification. Now out of control word spacing is no longer an issue and the clean left and right margins help readability (logically at least). I have no stats here but have heard this stated several times on various lists and Websites over the past few years.

Optically aligned margins

The ultra-smooth margins will add to that perception. Readers will start recognizing this quality sub-consciously as the better designers use these choices for the higher quality clients. The cleanliness of the column edges adds to the contrast of the headers.

Typographic embellishments

The use of ligatures will be the first choice -- not an occasional option. Swashes and alternative forms will become commonplace. I'm not suggesting that the extremes available here like Caflisch Script Pro will become typical. I do believe that ligatures like ct, st, and Th will become much more commonly used. Options like work and Quark will not be as common (IMHO). Though as you can see, they can be easily added to the new Pro fonts.

type embellishments

Optical weighting

This is much less likely to become mainstream. It is a very nice capability. Adobe will develop more fonts like this. But these fonts are more expensive and they are much more difficult to develop by the smaller foundries, like myself. If your project uses a font family that has these options and you own the optical weights -- by all means use them. It is automated by a simple checkbox (on the Type page of Preferences in InDesign CS1 and CS2).

Run-in heads, anchored graphics, & transparency

These tools have now become easy to use. They will become much more commonplace and help us (page layout specialists) communicate more clearly while managing more complex pages with ease. Of course, they will be abused as fashion statements. But they are certainly useful and excellent tools to add to our arsenals.

The New Typography in summary

I believe excellent type will become what transparency was a decade ago -- a sign of professional excellence only produced by the pros. It will become one of the distinguishing characteristics of our work when compared to office production using the same tools. We won't even be limited to comparisons with Word any more. Our skill with the professional page layout programs will surpass our normal competition by entire levels of knowledge and expertise.

But maybe I'm just dreaming?

Just my 2 David

David Bergsland
      bergsland.org

Also by David:

BEST Gradient Paragraph Rules
BEST Art from Dingbats
BEST Run-in Headlines
BEST Complex Tables in Adobe InDesign
BEST Using Numbers in the proper Case

David Bergsland

David has been a graphic designer, art director, teacher, and author on digital printing and publishing for nearly forty years. He has written several books, See his books and tutorial materials) designed well over a hundred fonts, and taught on the digital publishing industry needs for the past fifteen years. Presently he is working for a large printing company developing training materials for InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Acrobat. Most of his recent works are published by Radiqx Press and available on his Website: bergsland.org

Copyright ©2006 David Bergsland This is reprinted here with permission and kudos to David for contributing some of is extensive knowledge for DTG readers!

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