Favorite articles from Ilene Strizver, founder of The Type Studio and TypeTalk at Creative Pro

by Fred Showker

type training from Ilene Strizver Ilene Strizver, founder of The Type Studio, is a noted typographic educator, consultant, designer and writer. We've followed Ilene, and enjoyed her writings and teachings for two decades. Ilene has written and lectured extensively on type and typographic design to both students and professionals in the field. Here is the short list of our favorite type and typography tips, tricks, techniques and learning penned by Ilene ...

Here are our favorites from Ilene's blog

  • TypeTalk: The Quick Brown Fox Where did "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" come from, and what do these animals have to do with type?
  • TypeTalk: Change Word's Line Spacing, Part II As long as you're willing to dive into the guts of Microsoft Word, it is possible to change the default line spacing for all new documents.
  • TypeTalk: Change Line Spacing in Word - Microsoft Word makes it easy for you to change line spacing from 1 to 1.5 and 2. But when you want more options, you have to dig a little deeper.
  • TypeTalk: A Blizzard of White-Space Characters - Flush space, figure space, hair space -- what do they all mean?!
  • TypeTalk: Keep Words Together - Nonbreaking spaces (also known as word joiners) prevent titles, headlines, and names from splitting at the end of a line. Here's how to insert nonbreaking spaces in the two most popular page-layout apps.
  • TypeTalk: Creative Indents - Some layouts call for traditional ways to separate paragraphs. Other times, you can add a little visual interest with something more unusual. Here's how.
  • TypeTalk: Collect OpenType Fonts in Smart Sets - Font managers' Smart Sets make it easy for you to find and activate only OpenType fonts. Smart Sets also let you search for many other attributes to organize your fonts, such as family, foundry, library, and keywords.
  • TypeTalk: Change Word's Default Font - It's not hard to change Microsoft Word's default font when you know where to look.
  • TypeTalk: Top Ten Type Resources Online - We type lovers are voracious readers about our favorite subject. Check out this list to see if your preferred online resource is represented, and to possibly find a new favorite.
  • TypeTalk: The Importance of Style (Sheets) - There's no better way to maintain consistency and make fast changes to text formatting than to use style sheets.
  • TypeTalk: Are Free Fonts Worth the Price? - Some free typefaces are pirated from legitimate fonts. Others are not stolen but are poorly designed. Here's how to find the ones that both look good and are legit.
  • TypeTalk: Letterspacing - Is it a type crime to add lots of space between characters? Or is letterspacing OK?
  • TypeTalk: To Everything, Kern, Kern Kern... - Over the centuries, the word "kern" has evolved from a noun to a verb. See photos of metal type and get info on kerning in today's digital landscape.
  • TypeTalk: Ambigrams - Backwards, forwards, sideways, and every which way, ambigrams are intriguing typographic art forms.
  • TypeTalk: Get Typographically Correct Text from Word - Banish dumb quotes, double spaces, and double hyphens from Microsoft Word files.
  • TypeTalk: Tongue-Twisting Type - Type Love quiz time! Do you know how to pronounce these commonly mangled font names?
  • TypeTalk: Stylin' Sets - Some typefaces have alternate characters in Stylistic Sets. Here's how to use these sets and add typographic interest to text.
  • TypeTalk: Greeking Out - Is it a good idea to use dummy text in a layout? If you say yes, find out how easy it is in the top two page-layout apps.
  • TypeTalk: Where Did that Font Come From?! - You open one of your InDesign documents and see the Missing Font alert -- for a font you never use. What's going on? And more importantly, how do you stop it from happening ever again?
  • TypeTalk: When to Custom-Kern - Between some letters in some typefaces, there's a space that's just a little too big. If you're reading TypeTalk, that visual hole probably bugs you. Here's how and when to patch the hole.
  • TypeTalk: To Hang or not to Hang... - ... starting quotation marks, that is.
  • TypeTalk: Stroking Text in QuarkXPress - In QuarkXPress, you can apply a stroke (called a "frame" in XPress) to text. You can even affect whether that stroke falls on the inside or outside of the characters. Just don't try to edit the text after you apply the stroke!
  • TypeTalk: The Best Way to Manage Fonts - Buying and learning another piece of software is the last thing you need, right? But a font manager is worth its weight in gold. It will speed up your computer and simplify the creative process.
  • TypeTalk: Document-Wide Kerning - Which page-layout application lets you customize a font’s built-in kern table for use in one or all of its files? You won't know unless you read this week's post.
  • TypeTalk: Two-Story Type -- (February 19, 2009) Have you ever wondered why the lowercase letters a and g come in two distinct forms?
  • TypeTalk: Groups Words When Justifying -- (February 11, 2009) Here's how to justify a series of unrelated words and word groups in InDesign and QuarkXPress so the space between them automatically adjusts with the width of the text box, while keeping the word groups together.
  • TypeTalk: Get to Know the Long s -- (February 4, 2009) No, it'f not a phonetic rendering of a fpeech impediment. The long s is a legitimate character that has a time and a place.
  • TypeTalk: Top Fonts of 2008 -- (January 29, 2009) There's something for everyone in the 50+ fonts linked to from this article. I bet you'll find new favorites!
  • TypeTalk: Trademark and Register Symbols -- (January 21, 2009) Register and trademark symbols may seem clunky and intrusive, but once you know how to set them correctly, they'll harmonize with the rest of your design.
  • TypeTalk: Standard and Discretionary Ligatures -- (January 14, 2009) What are ligatures, and why would you want to use them when setting type?
  • TypeTalk: Scaling Logos -- (January 7, 2009) What’s the big (or small) deal? Learn how to tweak logos so they look good at any size.
  • TypeTalk: Hyphens at Your Discretion -- (December 30, 2008) It's much better to use discretionary hyphens than to manually enter the hyphen character. Not only do discretionary hyphens disappear when text reflows and they're no longer needed, but they can even prevent character strings -- like URLs -- from breaking. Here's how to use them.
  • TypeTalk: Font Importing Problems -- (December 17, 2008) Some FontAgent Pro users experience a seemingly mysterious import problem. Here's the solution.
  • TypeTalk: Justified Text -- (December 10, 2008) Justified text can look good, but only if you know a few typographical secrets.
  • TypeTalk: Metrics versus Optical Kerning -- (December 3, 2008) When applications give you a choice of automatic versus optical kerning, which is best? Can you combine the two kerning methods?
  • TypeTalk: Horizontal Alignment -- (November 20, 2008) Proper horizontal alignment is key to professional-looking typography. Here's how to get it.
  • TypeTalk: Vertical Alignment -- (November 11, 2008) When it comes to pleasing vertical alignment, let your eyes be the final judge, not leading numbers.
  • TypeTalk: What Makes a Font a Pro? -- (November 5, 2008) Some OpenType fonts have the word "Pro" at the end of their names. What in the world does it mean?
  • TypeTalk: Email Etiquette -- (October 29, 2008) Email is different from print publications. But does that mean all typographic rules fly out the window?
  • TypeTalk: Automatic Leaders to the Rescue -- (October 22, 2008) When you need a string of dots between text, such as you see in tables of contents, don't type a bunch of periods. Add the dot leader automatically!
  • TypeTalk: Kerning in Action -- (October 15, 2008) In Part 2 of this series on kerning, we look at good and bad examples.
  • TypeTalk: Kerning Principles -- (October 9, 2008) Unravel the mystery of kerning in two parts. This week is Part 1: the Basic Principles.
  • TypeTalk: Axes Aren't Evil -- (October 2, 2008) In the world of typefaces, an "axis" refers to the way the round part of a character leans (or doesn't lean).
  • TypeTalk: Unplumbed Depths -- (September 24, 2008) Are you looking for one particular character in a font that has thousands? A little-known feature of the glyph palette is here to help.
  • TypeTalk: A Dash of This, a Dash of That -- (September 18, 2008) When you're working with negative mathematical values, is it OK to use a keyboard dash, or a hyphen, or an en dash instead of a minus sign?
  • TypeTalk: Titling Fonts -- (September 11, 2008) Some typefaces are designed to look best at large sizes. Here's how to spot them.
  • TypeTalk: Ellipsis Etiquette -- (September 3, 2008) What is an ellipsis, and how do you make one?
  • TypeTalk: Small Caps in Illustrator -- (August 27, 2008) Illustrator not only squirrels away your access to an OpenType font’s true-drawn small caps in an odd location, but it also has some unwelcome small-caps behavior. Here's how to find the caps and fix the conduct.
  • TypeTalk: Say No to Word's AutoFormatting -- (August 20, 2008) Microsoft Word may think it's being helpful when it automatically formats your text with numbers, bullets, hyperlinks, and so on. But if you've had enough, here's how to take control.
  • TypeTalk: Character Reference -- (August 14, 2008) Quiz time! Can you tell the difference between a character and a glyph?
  • TypeTalk: Must-Have Symbols for Audio Packaging -- (August 6, 2008) The sound recording copyright symbol is a must for many CD and DVD packages. Yet it's hard to find in fonts. Here's how and where to track it down.
  • TypeTalk: Converting QuarkXPress Files in InDesign -- (July 30, 2008) On its own, InDesign can't open QuarkXPress 5, 6, and 7 files. But don't worry, you don't have to recreate everything from scratch, thanks to a handy little plug-in.
  • TypeTalk: Measure for Measure, Typographically Speaking -- (July 23, 2008) Why would a type blog focus on a Roman statesman and a variety of quartz? You'll have to read on to find out.
  • TypeTalk: Biting the Bullet -- (July 16, 2008) There are a couple of correct ways to align bulleted lists. Hint: They don't involve manual line breaks and hitting the tab key over and over.
  • TypeTalk: What's In a Name? -- (July 9, 2008) You say "typeface," I say "font." Should we call the whole thing off?
  • TypeTalk: Make Microsoft Word Do Your Bidding -- (June 26, 2008) Have you ever tried to select text, but Word didn't behave the way you wanted it to? Here's the fix.
  • TypeTalk: Make the Most of What You Have -- (June 19, 2008) Many newer OpenType fonts have two kinds of numbers -- one for tables, and one for text. But when a typeface includes only basic tabular numerals, this hidden command helps them look their best.
  • TypeTalk: Say What? -- (June 11, 2008) When it comes to choosing and setting type, there's a difference between readability and legibility.
  • TypeTalk: The Case of the Mysterious Missing Fonts -- (June 4, 2008) Your software says that a font's in your document, even when you can see it's not, or that a font is missing, even when you know you haven't used it. Here's how to crack the case.
  • TypeTalk: Identify Fonts in PDFs -- (May 28, 2008) Need to know all the fonts that appear in a document, but you only have a PDF, not the original file? Here's the solution.
  • TypeTalk: When In Rome -- (May 21, 2008) If you've ever wondered what the word "Roman" means in typography terms, here's your answer.
  • TypeTalk: You Dingbat! -- (May 14, 2008) Call them dingbats, ornamentals, or decorative fonts. No matter what the name, these typefaces are great additions to your design toolbox.
  • TypeTalk: Spot OpenType Fonts Fast -- (May 7, 2008) Here's how to tell whether a font is OpenType without leaving your page-layout app.
  • TypeTalk: Good-looking Figures -- (April 28, 2008) What are the differences between "oldstyle" and "lining" figures, and what situations call for which kind of numbers?
  • TypeTalk: Create Your Own Fonts -- (April 23, 2008) What program is best for designing typefaces?
  • TypeTalk: Text Fonts versus Display Fonts -- (April 15, 2008) What's the difference between text and display fonts? And which ones can you use where?
  • TypeTalk: Access Special Characters -- (April 9, 2008) Print out this handy chart of key combinations for the most commonly used special characters.
  • TypeTalk: Justify My Text -- (March 31, 2008) Making justified text look good is tough, but it's not impossible.
  • TypeTalk: Spell-Check Sabotage -- (March 19, 2008) Is your spell checker confused? Older fonts may be to blame.
  • TypeTalk: It's Fontariffic! -- Features: Written by Ilene Strizver (February 22, 2008) Answers to your questions about awkward spaces, "prime" time, and free fonts.
  • TypeTalk: Fast Answers to Font Questions -- Features: Written by Ilene Strizver (January 23, 2008) Are smart quotes always curly? Are headlines always left aligned? When is it OK to use ampersands? And how do you find and use true small caps?
  • TypeTalk: Practical Tips You Can Use -- Features: Written by Ilene Strizver (December 21, 2007) From how to break long URLs to the epic struggle between em dashes and en dashes, we have the answers to your typographic quandaries.
  • TypeTalk: A Cornucopia of Font Facts -- Features: Written by Ilene Strizver (November 19, 2007) This month, learn how to handle scaling surprises, PDFs that need editing, an optical font family, and those weird marks some editor scribbled on your layout.
  • TypeTalk: Do's and Don'ts -- Features: Written by Ilene Strizver (October 24, 2007) This month's column covers spaces, faces, traces, and more!
  • TypeTalk: Waddya Wanna Know? -- Features: Written by Ilene Strizver (September 21, 2007) While type may seem like a niche topic, it covers a surprisingly large territory. This column ranges far and wide: from stylistic sets to text boxes to point sizes to hyperlinks.
  • TypeTalk: Counter Intelligence -- Features: Written by Ilene Strizver (August 31, 2007) Got a question, any question, about type, typography, or fonts? We havethe answers!
  • TypeTalk: Information, Activation, Matching Feet, and Style Sheets -- Features: Written by Ilene Strizver (July 25, 2007) The newest installment of our type column is bursting with stuff youneed to know.
  • TypeTalk: Your Fountain of Font Facts -- Features: Written by Ilene Strizver (June 22, 2007) This month, read about em and en dashes in print and on the Web; specimen books; and the best way to convert quotation marks and primes from dumb to smart and back again.
  • TypeTalk: What You Want to Know -- Features: Written by Ilene Strizver (May 21, 2007) Questions and answers on word spacing, kerning, tracking, period placement, missing fonts, and font-size confusion.
  • TypeTalk: Opening Up About OpenType -- Features: Written by Ilene Strizver (April 30, 2007) Do you have questions about mixing font formats in one file, crossing platforms, automating old-style figures, the best apps for OpenType, and the fonts with the most bang for the buck? We've got answers!

So, go shopping for authoritative information on type and typography. Cheers, Ilene!

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fred_c_125 Thanks for reading . . . and, thanks for twenty years of Designing Women online!

Fred Showker

      Editor/Publisher : DTG Magazine
      +FredShowker on Google+ or most social medias @Showker
      Published online since 1988


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