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Panpa Bulletin : August 2006
PRODUCTION THE beauty of The Rule of Three (yes, I cap each word, out of rever- ence for the rule) is that it can help tomakelifelessdifficultforyouasa designer,aneditorandapublisher. It does that by dictating that we use only three type faces through- out the design of a newspaper. Following The Rule of Three, we use: TYPEFACE ONE for headlines. TYPEFACE TWO for accessories such as subheads, pullouts and other display elements. TYPEFACE THREE for text. Using only these three families always helps make your design more consistent from issue to issue and eventually creates a strong comfort level for your readers. Here are some tips on The Rule of Three: GO FOR THE GOLD: When choosing your type families especially your headline faces go for those that are proven winners. Remember that your readers ex- pect you to be good, not different. Look for classic headline faces. Some serifs to look at: Bauer Bodoni, Berkeley, Caslon 224, Concord, Garamond Condensed, Kepler Standard, Photina, Wal- baum Book. Sans serifs that work well: Akzidenz Grotesk, Frutiger, Futura Condensed, Formata, Myriad Pro. Fort text, look at: Nimrod, Cheltenham, Utopia. ALL IN THE FAMILY: When choosing your type face, also look for a family that is extend- ed. Photina, for example, offers at least eight fonts in the family. Myriad Pro lets you choose from among 40 fonts. And Kepler Standard? Well, there are 168 fonts in that family. Now, tell me you can't be creative with that! CREATIVE LICENSE: Use the different fonts in a family to give your pages a fresh look without departing from The Rule of Three. If you have fewer fonts in a type face (Caslon 224 is limited to four), you can use these in a crea- tive fashion on those pages where creativity is called for. Some sug- gestions: all caps, small caps, in colour, with a soft shadow, with a baseline shift. TEXTING, TEXTING: Let's avoid being too creative in text. Remember that readers get 80 per cent or more of the informa- tion you provide by reading text. Keep it simple. Keep it clean. Keep it large enough --- without getting into what I call 'See Spot Run' typography --- 14 point on 18 spacing just doesn't work for newspapers though there are probably some readers who would welcome it. STYLE GUIDE IT: Once you've done your mock-ups and made your decisions on how you're going to apply The Rule of Three at your newspaper, write down your amendments to The Rule of Three. Put them into your Design Style Guide. You do have a Design Style Guide, don't you? Don't you? THE RULE OF TWO: An adjunct to The Rule of Three, The Rule of Two simply states that in some cases, you can actually use only two type face families to achieve the same effect. For example, fonts of Kepler Standard serve very well as text as well as headlines and other display elements. The same is true for Photina. THE RULE OF FOUR. There's a time when you may really need that fourth type face. For details, visit Ed Henninger's web site at www.henningerconsulting.com and leave a request with an e- mail address. We'll fill you in. ed henninger is an independent newspaper consultant and the director of henninger Consulting. The Rule of Three: keeping your typography uncomplicated the rule of three may be easier enough to think about but following it is a different matter writes Ed Henninger 44 | PANPA bULLETIN august 2006