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Typesetting. Can you spot my obsession?

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  • Typesetting. Can you spot my obsession?

    Good afternoon, everyone.

    Please find below two sample pages from my semi-autobiographical book, Whitey's World Of Pool, an account of thirty years on the road as a pool hustler interspersed with coaching tips and tricks. I believe the typesetting to be almost unique in the world of publishing, I'd be interested to learn if anybody can spot why exactly.

  • #2
    I don't get what you're talking about but you seem to be using two spaces between sentences. Awkward reading.


    • #3
      Good evening, Kaye.

      The double spacing after a full stop is undoubtedly an age thing, it is what we were taught as correct typesetting many moons ago and, being a traditionalist, I favour it over the modern preference for a single space.


      • salsa
        salsa commented
        Editing a comment
        Two spaces was never a thing. Ever. It was invented by high school typewriting teachers who thought that the monospaced letters on a typewriter made it difficult to see where the end of a sentence occurred. Everyone of a certain age, myself included, was taught to use two spaces, and since most people never took another typewriting class again they weren't told otherwise even after the rise of the modern computer.

        The reason why it looks bad is because it creates white spaces in a paragraph. If you step back and blur your eyes, a paragraph should have an even gray color. But when a double space is used you can see white dots blemishing that beautiful even gray. I can see it on your example above, try it. Then take the double spaces out, step back, and blur your eyes again. See the difference?

      • seamas
        seamas commented
        Editing a comment
        Two spaces after a full stop is correct on a (monospace) typewriter.

        That is why typing teachers teach that.

        With word processing software we have proportional spacing. No need for more space--it is already there.

    • #4
      To my eye, a single space following a full stop looks dreadful, especially if the next sentence happens to begin with a T or a Y for example.


      • Kayekaye
        Kayekaye commented
        Editing a comment
        But that is only because typography wasn't as refined as t is now and two spaces are not needed as much as they were with Linotype or hot lead or even typewriting. Reconsider.

    • #5
      Ah, that's where we must differ I'm afraid, Kaye. I consider many typesetting skills have been lost to the modern world, maybe not in terms of technical ability, but certainly beauty and refinement.

      Many scholars would contend that Gutenberg's skills over five-hundred years ago are rarely surpassed today.


      • #6
        In editorial writing today, double spaces after a full stop are considered a mistake.
        Consult the Chicago Manual of Style.
        If you insist on using it, be 100% consistent, and note it to your printer, as this is one of the things that tends to pop up during preflight.

        Full moon to Bela Lugosi was not a problem. Sunrise was.
        A full moon to Lon Chaney on the other hand might be a problem.
        We actually may be at a time where people may not recognize those names. Probably Dracula and Werewolf are going to be needed to produce the association you are making. The association itself is written rather clumsily.
        Last edited by PrintDriver; 08-27-2016, 10:12 PM.


        • #7
          I don't think today's typesetting is comparable to Gutenberg's work. It's a bit like comparing the Wright brothers to contemporary aviation engineers. Both Gutenberg and the Wright brothers made huge, world-changing technological breakthroughs, but those breakthroughs paved the way to the kinds of advances that make head-to-head comparisons between then and now a bit silly.

          Double spaces are mostly the result of high school teachers teaching their students to use them because their teachers taught them to do so. How it ever started, I have no idea. Before, say, 30 or 40 years ago, double spaces were more common in book publishing, but it never really was the norm. Today, double spaces are nearly non-existent in professional typography, and as PrintDriver mentioned, they're considered a mistake and a sign of amateurishness (sorry). In the best digital fonts today, type designers often include kerning pairs that adjust the spacing between the glyphs at the end and beginning of sentences to account for glyphs like the A, T, V, quote marks and such. Tossing in a double space compromises those adjustments included by the type designer in the fonts.

          Why have you justified the last sentence of each paragraph? For that matter you would have needed to adjust each line in the paragraph, and perhaps modified the text, to get that last line to needlessly justify. It's not only needless; it's peculiar to the point of drawing attention to itself, which is something body copy shouldn't typically do. If you insist on doing so, however, at least hang the punctuation so that the end of those last sentences visually align vertically with the ends of the sentences above.


          • #8
            Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, from another rainy day in Amsterdam.

            We are quite distant correspondents, perhaps, but a love of all things typographical can at least bring us a little closer together, eh?

            I had a hunch my faith in this forum would not be misplaced. The late, great Bela Lugosi as a werewolf indeed! Perish the thought. And the rather old-fashioned spacing coupled with an unusual appearance of justification? It takes folks of experience to notice such anomalies but please, dear readers, do mistake them for clumsy, amateurish oversights, as nothing could be further from the truth in this instance. Obsession was not a noun used flippantly in the thread's title, Whitey's World Of Pool has been a labour of love for almost twenty years.

            Technological advancements in typesetting are often wonderful in terms of speed and convenience, of course. To some, however, it comes at a cost of beauty and elegance, hence the adoption of single space periods to counteract the visually offensive lakes and rivers of text manipulation. Take another look at the two pages printed above, gentlemen, a real close look. Hanging punctuation would not be appropriate here, widows and orphans are there none. Nor, as a matter of fact, is there any forced justification present.

            You will forgive, I hope, my writing somewhat in riddles, but where would be the fun in just revealing the solution to my puzzle straight away? Especially as this one is so potentially rewarding? If brainteasers do not click your keys, my sincere apologies for the deception. If, like me, you relish the challenge, I'll offer one final clue. The master, Johannes Gutenberg, was not the only fifteenth-century inspiration behind this project, Francesco Colonna also loomed large.

            Best wishes,


            • #9


              • #10
                Well, regardless of the typography, I want a copy of this book. I've spent the majority of my life playing. Grew up playing with Willie Jopling and Grady Matthews and Dave Bollman when they came to town. Sadly none of those three are still with us. Spent many years traveling to play myself. Wonder if we ever ran into each other. If so, I want a chance to win my money back...


                • #11
                  I think you are blinded by what you think is good typography and not considering what your market would subconsciously feel is good typography. the double-spaces after fullstops poke holes in the blocks of text,
                  the lack of hanging punctuation erodes the squared edges of meticulously justified text; defeats the purpose a little
                  the leading is rather tight and makes it feel text-heavy
                  the space on either side of the colon is indicative of french, it seems odd when displayed this way in english context

                  You seem delighted by something we are missing, however if a bunch of professional designers are missing it you're almost guaranteed that someone who is not a graphic designer would miss it too. Given that, coupled with your luddite views on typography, I think it's safe to say you are laying this out for yourself and not for your intended market.
                  Design is not decoration.


                  • #12
                    Good evening, Cosmo.

                    Good heavens, sir, that is a mighty impressive trio of playing partners, outstanding in fact. I was a particular fan of Willie Jopling, loved his trickshot routines and anecdotes of yesteryear. Also, where many others derided the great man, he was always a champion of Rudolph Wanderone, the late Minnesota Fats, and that endeared him to me even more.

                    It's unlikely our paths have crossed, alas, I plied my trade mostly in England and Europe, although I have played Jim Rempe and Earl Strickland many moons ago. Plus a fellow called Alex Higgins, quite a character over here in his day, but not so well known in America of course.

                    Great chatting with you, Cosmo.

                    Best wishes,


                    • Cosmo
                      Cosmo commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Yeah. Willie lived about an hour from me. He had a Phillippi cue I was always trying to buy from him. His son, Billy Jr., is honestly one of the best players I've ever seen. He's not a gambler or anything, but a lot of the big names like Earl, Johnny Archer, Shannon Dalton, Mike Coltrain and some others only live a few hours from us. We used to go on trips down there to tournaments and Billy would beat all of them easily. I lost touch with him several years ago. Wonder what he's doing now...

                  • #13
                    Good evening, KM.

                    Many thanks indeed for your thoughts, sir.

                    I can see your point but, hand on heart, I'm not taking delight in folks missing something. Apologies if it came across as that, it certainly wasn't intended. Intrigued, fascinated and excited are the emotions felt as I read the comments.

                    I have already let the cat out of the bag about this being a puzzle, a labyrinthine brainteaser, but if I reveal too much more it will compromise any enjoyment the good folks of the forum might take from the challenge and teach me nothing in return.

                    I have given many clues. There is no forced justification in my book, not once in five-hundred pages. Moreover, hanging punctuation would be impossible and odd anomalies are featured on purpose.

                    This particular thread is very much for puzzle-lovers and problem-solvers, and apologise once again if it's not to everyone's taste.

                    Best wishes,


                    • #14
                      Originally posted by Pacman Ghost View Post
                      There is no forced justification in my book, not once in five-hundred pages.

                      Of course there's forced justification of the text. Lines of type don't magically all end in exactly the same vertically aligned position; it takes either a software algorithm or manual tweaking for that to happen. Perhaps there's some confusion over terminology or, maybe, this is all part of your mysterious brain teaser.


                      • #15
                        Good evening, B.

                        No confusion in terminology, I promise. I believe you are on the right tracks, though, dear reader.







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