Mind Your En And Em Dashes: Typographic Etiquette

An understanding of typographic etiquette separates the master designers from the novices. A well-trained designer can tell within moments of viewing a design whether its creator knows how to work with typography. Typographic details aren’t just inside jokes among designers. They have been built up from thousands of years of written language, and applying them holds in place long-established principles that enable typography to communicate with efficiency and beauty.

Handling these typographic details on the Web brings viagra challenges and restrictions that need to be considered. Below are a few rules of thumb that will have you using typography more lucidly than ever before.

Setting Body Copy

Good typography comes down to communicating information, and the basis of information is good old-fashioned body copy  –  simple blocks of text. Here are a few ways to make your blocks of text nice and clean.

Indentation or Space After a Paragraph?

When signalling the end of a paragraph and the beginning of another, you can generally either indent or insert a space between the paragraphs. Doing both is redundant and creates awkward, irregular chunks of white space.

Indent the first line of a new paragraph about 1 em (if your font size is 12px, then that would amount to 12 pixels). Indenting the opening paragraph of a new section would be redundant, because that paragraph would be the first in that page or section anyway.

Space after paragraph
A full line break of 1 em (like when you hit the “Return” key twice) is generally more than enough to signal a new paragraph. About 0.8 ems is sufficient.