The following is from a 1921 classic
direct marketing text called "Effective Direct Advertising" by Robert Ramsay.
Although it may seem
strange to the reader that I quote from such an old text
(and do so in some other parts of the site as well), I
feel that if you can get past the dated language, you will find advice both useful and relevant.
The thought or idea to be
communicated acquires or loses force, directness,
clearness, lucidity, beauty, in proportion to the
fitness of the typography employed as a medium.-GEORGE
Typography Is the Vehicle of
You have a direct-advertising campaign all
planned out in accordance with principles previously
laid down, but to express-communicate-that idea to your
possible prospects the various physical forms must be
duplicated in some way, as we shall take up in Section
327. But no matter what method of duplication is decided
upon the words, ideas, thoughts will be conveyed, at
least in large measure, by type.
"The New Standard
Dictionary" defines type as a piece or block of metal or
of wood, bearing on its upper surface, usually in
relief, a letter or character for use in printing; also,
such pieces collectively. Even if the physical form is a
letter, form or personal, it will be reproduced from
type. Typography and display are inseparably interwoven,
to be sure, and both are means of expression. The six
main methods of display-which is in a way the emphasis
we would use if we were talking our message-are : (1)
Display type ; (2) Body type ; (3) Illustrations ; (4)
Color ; (5) Margins and arrangements of pages, columns,
etc., and (6) Hand-lettering, borders, ornaments, etc.
In this chapter we shall take up only the matter of
typography, the basic-and simplest-form of expressing
and emphasizing our idea.
Typography Not to Be
Confused with Multiplicity of Type Styles.
typography it should be emphasized early that there is no need for a
multiplicity of type styles, and this book will not
indulge in page after page of Piquant, Petite, Mon
Petite, Paralyzing, and Powerful, families of type
styles in all their different ramifications, of body,
bold, italic, extended, condensed, extra wide, outline,
and the like. You can get an idea of the enormous number
of type styles by securing a specimen book from any of
the large type-founders; there are as many styles of
type as there are styles of men's collars, and at least
a few new ones each season. We shall try to stick to the
study of typography only ; or, rather, the expressing of
the idea by the use of type.
Those experienced in
printing will know that the exact size of actual (the
preceding paragraphs are set in imitation typewriter
type) typewriter type is not the same as of printer's
type. Considering elite and pica typewriter type for the
moment, Louis Victor Eytinge, in Mailbag for May, 1917,
went on record as saying : "Actual tests have
demonstrated that elite type generally is more efficient
than pica. Not only is it the most generally used style
of type-face, but through its compactness and size it
permits use of larger margins and between-paragraph
spacing. However, there are exceptions."
Typography Must Do.
Benjamin Sherbow, author of "Making
Type Work," Sherbow's Type Charts, and an acknowledged
expert on typography, sums up what typography must do in
two brief sentences :
First: Attract the reader's
attention to the message.
Second: Hold the reader's
attention until message is read.
Every planner of direct
advertising should make these two sentences a part of
his working creed.
Technical Details About
For clarity it will be necessary to take up a few
technical details about type.
Almost without exception
in every style or face (by this word we have reference
to the formation of the letters in a style of type) of
Roman type you will find :
Among the other sizes of type are 12-, 14-, 18-,
24-, 30-, 36-, 42-, 48-, 60-, and 72-points, though some
faces are found in odd sizes like 41/2-, 51/2-, 7-, 9-,
and 11-point. Wood type, used for large handbills,
posters, etc., may be had in very large sizes, some of
them inches deep.
"The em" is a square, each side of
which is equal to the height of body of that type. For
example, a 10-point em is a square 10 points by 10
points, thus M.
The 12-point em, known as "pica," is
always used as a unit to measure the length (or measure,
as it is called) of a line of type, the width of an
advertisement, or column. For example, a standard
newspaper column is known as 13 ems pica, or 21/12
inches. A few Metropolitan newspapers use the 121/2 ems
pica column, however.
"Quads" are pieces of type less
than type height for making indentions, filling out
lines, and so on.
"Spaces" are blank pieces of type also
lower than the type face. They are used to separate
words and sometimes to separate the letters of a word.
This phrase is "l e t t e r s p a c e d."
"Leads" are thin strips
of metal, inserted between lines of type to "open them
up"-and like quads and spaces the leads are not so high
as the type and therefore do not print. If they printed
they would be in effect underscore marks. This paragraph
is spaced with 1-point leads. It takes 12 of these leads
to make a pica.
This paragraph has 2-point leads,
meaning 6 to the pica; other leads are 3-, and 4-point,
referring, respectively, to 4 leads to the pica, and 3
leads to the pica. When two two-point leads are inserted
between lines of type the spacing is known as double
Strips of 6-point and 12-point material are
termed "nonpareil" and "pica" slugs, respectively.