A RECENT CONTRIBUTOR, Scott comes back to us with another submission for review and comment.
Here’s another page I just finished Ed…I know you hate the reversed type, but I wanted to try something a little different…hope it turned out well. Scott
FROM ED: The point is not whether Ed likes reversed type. The point is that reversed type—especially when it’s run as a full-length story like this—is v-e-r-y difficult to read.
From what I can tell here, you’ve taken your normal body font (Times?) and run it at its normal size (about 10 point). If you’re going to run text in reverse, go to a larger size and a sans serif font. These changes add to the readability of reversed text, especially of the type is run over a photo, where registration issues come into play.
I offer the page below—prepared as a mockup for a client—as an example. The text is set in 11 point Antenna Condensed Bold on 13.2 spacing. And I paid close attention to letter spacing and word spacing. Much easier to read—and to reproduce on the press.
So, it’s not about reversed type or not reversed type. It’s about how you reverse the type. But it’s also about why you reverse the type. What was your intention here? Greater visual impact? Well, ya got that…but at the expense of readability. So, while many of your readers would have wanted to read this page, the majority of them would have had trouble doing so. And, if you defeat the reader’s ease of reading—and they stop reading the page as a result—who have you helped? Frankly, on my page below, it doesn’t matter if readers don’t go the the end of the story—although I’ve made it considerably easier for them to do so. The story is just a feature about coffee. But your page is built around a story that will have life-changing impact or your readers. Making it difficult to read is a disservice to your readers—and to your community.
That’s why reversing type is about much more than whether Ed likes it or not.