Typography | Typography for Lawyers

Typography for Lawyers

An excellent resource on good typography. Typography for Lawyers may be aimed at Lawyers, but the guides are easy to read and understand and applicable for anyone.

The website is well organised, with explanations for why you should pay attention to your typography then breaks down how into Basic, Intermediate and Advanced areas.

Examples covered:

  • Change straight quotes to curly quotes
  • Use only one space between sentences, not two
  • Never underline, use bold or italic instead
  • Use bold for emphasis with sans-serif fonts (Helvetica, Arial etc) and italics for emphasis for serif fonts (Times, Georgia etc)
  • Try to avoid centering, but if you want use for short phrases
  • Do not write in ALL CAPS, but when required set the caps in a smaller font with extra spacing and try to use proper Small Caps
  • Hyphens are for connecting words, en-dashes are used to contrast words, em-dashes are for pausing sentences
  • Semicolons (;) are used to create lists and combine sentences; colons (:) are used to summarise sentences
  • Use questions (?) to simplify your issues; use exclamation marks (!) sparingly
  • Only use monospaced fonts like Courier if you are on a typewriter
  • Do not use novelty fonts in serious documents such as court documents
  • Do not use operating system fonts in printed documents, as it just makes it look like a cheap website
  • Use the paragraph mark (¶) for referring to a paragraph, use the section mark (§) to refer to a section
  • Use the Trademark (™), Registered (®) and copyright marks (©) rather than approximating with brackets (R)
  • Use ellipsis character (…) rather than three full stops …
  • Check your apostrophes, as these may get automatically changed to being wrong

After the above examples, one gets into kerning, spacing, justification, nonbreaking spaces, and keeping lines together which are harder for me to summarise in a line like above.

So go over and have a read.

Typography for Lawyers.

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