DO’s and DON’TS of Typesetting

The correct use of typography for your project is important. It is vital to make it clearer for your audience to read and takeaway the most important parts that you want to communicate. Here at TPH, we’ve put together some simple DO’s and DON’TS for Typesetting to give you some guidelines to stick to.


Make Body text a legible size
Body text should be between 10 and 12 point. 11 point works best when printing at 300 dpi. It makes little point in choosing the ‘perfect” font for your promotional material if the print is so small that nobody can read it, except with a magnifying glass!

Watch your spacing
Use only one space after the end of a sentence instead of two.

Use italics instead of underlines
Don’t underline anything, not even headlines or subheadings. Underlines cause a separation between the text that belongs together.

Be consistent
Use the same typeface in the same size and with the same leading for all of your body copy throughout your project.

Tweak your leading
When adjusting your leading (the line spacing), ideally add 1 or 2 points to the type size. Say if you’re using 10 point type, use 12 point leading. Rule of thumb – never use less than that or your text will be difficult to read (unless that is what you intend for your design).

Watch the punctuation and line flow
You may have a great font – and at an appropriate size – but if it has hyphenation or uneven spacing – it’s not going to be enjoyed by the reader. Make sure to re-read everything and change it why necessary.

Choose the required font size
If your reader glances at the advertisement, brochure or packaging – what do you want them to read first? Determine what the hierarchy of your project is by choosing the most important elements and make sure they have more impact through sizing, bolding or use of an alternative font.


Overuse of Fancy Fonts
Script or fancy fonts with lots of tail flicks are just hard to read for Body text. Don’t do it – unless you’re wanting to strain your readers eyes.

Use Comic-sans
This is the font you use when you’re maybe sending a note to your craft group – but that’s where it ends. There are plenty of other handwritten style fonts that work much better. For that matter, stay away from Papyrus too!

Make your text harder to read
Avoid using all caps, italics, or bold for long blocks of text. These are more difficult to read.

Use all of your fun fonts at once
Less is more. Some of the most powerful pieces of design or advertising literature use one or two fonts only. Remember that, and you’re on the right track to clean, effective design.

We’d love to hear if you have any more DO’s and DON’TS of your own. Remember these are a guide, and as always, once you know the rules then you can definitely break them if your design calls for it!