What is Typesetting?

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Typesetting is the digital or physical arrangement of text in the fields of publishing and graphic design. Below introduces this unique art of organizing and fine tuning document titles and content.

The Basics

The typeset process refers to the selection and setting of type for a document. It is sometimes confused with typography, which refers to the type design, because both focus on the visual presentation of text. The typeset process results in text and images carefully being arranged in preparation for printing. This requires editors, typesetters or graphic designers select the most appropriate size and style of every text chain and design element. Although the typeset process may appear simple, it is actually a very technical and time consuming activity. Failure to properly manage and edit the typeset will result in visually unappealing flaws within the text.

Advanced Tips

The best typeset will never stack words because when two or more lines have identical words directly above or below each other, they create visual flaws that distract the reader. Loose lines or rivers of white background are unattractive gaps that may run down a paragraph’s edge because of poor spacing alignment. Publishers always use at least three to four lines to begin or end a column because failure to do so will result in an irregular appearance. The text’s font size is traditionally between seven to 10 points. Publishers avoid placing brief sentences at the ends of columns and paragraphs because this creates an uneven feel. Punctuation formatting is usually curly, such as curved quote marks, and not straight, such as feet marks.

Why Authors Care about the Typeset

A well-designed text is a mark of quality and professionalism. It also directly influences how the readers enjoy the article or book. Similar to how typos and grammatical errors distract readers, design mistake will disrupt the reader. Digital designers and typesetters are trained to eliminate the tiny mistakes that prevent a perfect reading experience. Authors themselves rarely are trained how to typeset, but they rely on their editors and publishers to meticulously proofread their work, which will subtly enhance the reader’s experience. Still, authors and graphic designers should understand the basics of how to typeset in order to increase the overall quality of their work.

Typesetter Job Description

A designer or typesetting will be responsible to review and format typesets. They prepare draft copies for printing by performing in-depth corrective reads. They maintain quality results by following and enforcing internal rules and industry standards. They recommend revisions based on proofreading protocols and copywriter procedures. They must control costs by tracking project deadlines, maintaining work logs and preparing final reports. Typesetters need strong project management skills in order to successfully manage and complete simultaneously demanding publishing projects. They must also have excellent scheduling and time management skills in order to meet daily production schedules, work closely with team members and exceed customer expectations.

Continue reading about the importance of typesetting at the National Association of Science Writers’ (NASW) website here.

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