Type sizes


“Choice of type size and of leading contribute greatly to the beauty of a book.”

“Choosing rhythmically correct type sizes for titles and headings (…) — by these means, a book designer can contribute much to the enjoyment of a valuable work of literature.”

A typographic hierarchy expresses the organization of content, emphasizing some elements and subordinating others. A visual hierarchy helps readers scan a text.”

(Tschichold, 1991)

“Text Hierarchy indicates different degrees of importance through the use of sizes and/or type styles. It is important to note though that the use of a too complex text hierarchy can be distracting and reduces visual harmony.”

“To achieve clarity and a uniform feel many designers restrict themselves to using only two typeface weights from a particular family, as this is enough to establish a typographic hierarchy without unnecessary elaboration.”

 (Ambrose & Harris, 2005)

“Lack of form, a consequence of the stillness of using only one size of type. It is difficult for any reader to find his way around in a book where chapter openings are not accentuated and where title and imprint have been set in lowercase only in the size of the basic font.”

“(…) so many of today’s readers have grown used to poor typography because they read more newspapers than books and thus kill time, as it is so succinctly termed. Since they aren’t acquainted with better typography, they can’t ask for it. And not knowing how to make things better, the rest lack voice.”

(Tschichold, 1991)




“Combinação equilibrada das partes de uma composição (tamanho dos tipos em relação ao papel, distribuição dos brancos, dimensão, colocação das gravuras em relação à página, etc.). Esta preocupação já estava presente no manuscrito, onde os elementos da página eram dispostos com intenções de ordem estética, de modo a obter um todo harmónico em que os corpos da letra do texto, das iniciais e de todos os demais elementos estavam estreitamente relacionados com as dimensões da obra • Equilíbrio entre os caracteres na altura e na largura. Harmonia. Simetria • Medida • Norma.”

(Faria e Perição, 2008)

“Perfect typography depends on perfect harmony between all of its elements. Harmony is determined by relationships or proportions. Proportions are hidden everywhere: in the capaciousness of the margins, in the reciprocal relationships to each other of all four margins on the page of a book, in the relationship between leading of the type area and dimensions of the margins, in the extent to which capital letters are spaced differently from the text, and not least, in the spacing and size of the words themselves.”

“The relationships of all type sizes used: everything must exhibit noble proportions and yield an unalterable effect”

(Tschichold, 1991)

“Proportion – relation of shape of type-face to page – Condensed types for narrow pages – Extended types for wide pages – Balance, an important subject”.

(Gress, 1917)


Tschichold, Jan. 1991. The Form of the Book: Essays on the Morality of Good Design. Original edition, 1975

Ambrose, Gavin & Harris, Paul. 2005. Basic Design: Typography. AVA Publishing.

Faria, Maria Isabel & Pericão, Maria Graça. 2008. Dicionário do Livro. Edições Almedila, SA: Coimbra.

Gress, Edmund. 1917. The Art & Practice of Typography.


Ana Marta Saraiva




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