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Unacceptable Examples

The title above gives me the willies. I almost changed it, but then stopped myself. “No,” I thought, “this will only serve to prove the need for Peatah and its followers.”

The number of typographic problems with this is staggering: incorrect quotation marks, a formal script set in all caps, the width of the type is less than 100%, bad kerning, slanted, … even a typo for Pete’s sake.

The sad thing is many folks create this type of work without realizing their failures. Here are some more examples …


Have a good example of
bad type? E-mail it to Peatah!

Make your image jpeg or gif
and no larger than 530 pixels
wide at 72 ppi. Also, send us
your reasons why it’s a
bad example and its source.

Don’t set hatch marks if
you want apostrophes.

A very common mistake, along
with incorrect quotation marks.

(We won’t even get into
the kerning troubles here,
the contrasting x-heights,
the missing word space, and
the visual weight of the ellipsis.)


Use optical margin alignment.

Within headlines—or any
display type—punctuation
shouldn’t carry the same visual
weight of letters and numbers.

Here, the opening quotation
mark seems to make the
text appear indented on the
second line. Rather, it should
hang back into the left margin
of this text block allowing the
two Gs to visually align.

A second problem: the closing
quotation mark seems to add
more space between words.
This also due to it carrying
the same visual weight of
the other characters.

And finally, the mechanically-
consistent leading on these
lines of text appears uneven.
This is also an optical problem
caused by the variation of the
characters between the lines:
descenders, caps, and taller
vertical strokes—such as
lowercase “L”s—are throwing
off the “evenness.”

Optical Alignment

More type disorders.

The rest are included with
just some quick captions.
Special thanks to my typography
students for finding these!

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