Design for Developers

Typography for Lawyers

Design for Developers

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The "Typography for Lawyers" Lesson is part of the full, Design for Developers course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Sarah draws out insights around attention span and line length from the book 'Typography for Lawyers'.


Transcript from the "Typography for Lawyers" Lesson

>> Sarah Drasner: Typography for lawyers is as great book that's kind of old but a lot of things still hold through. So if you're interested in learning some really good rules for type, this is a really good book. And it's written with the assumption that you're a lawyer. But did also applies for things on the lab as well.

So in this book it has these kind of cool charts. In fact, your reader is quite different from you. The attention span for the writer is long, the reader is short, interest in topic is high, the reader is low, and things like that. Legal writers, unfortunately, imagine that their comparison looks like this.

Attention span, whatever it takes. Interest, boundless. The only reader who might match that description is your mother or father. But one thing that they talk about because of that attention span is line length, which is really great. When you have a piece of text that goes on for a really long time across a screen, your eye gets pretty fatigued moving across the page.

And in fact, it's even hard for you to figure out which line it goes to next so the longer the line the more it has to you have to spend some cognition figuring out where you are on the page. You might not think of it that way. You don't think like that was such a long line of text.

Now where am I but you kind of notice that you're getting fatigued a little bit faster like wide. This is a good article. Why am I getting so bored? [LAUGH] Why don't I like it? So constraining your line length to 45 to 90 characters is a really good rule of thumb that people try to use across the web.

So that's also actually why we use columns. A lot of times in order to display text so that we don't have super long line lengths that's something that newspapers decided a long time ago.

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