Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hanging Punctuation Explained

It's not every day I see a 10-foot-tall illustration of how not to display punctuation.

Rasmussen College billboard with headline LOOK AHEAD. WE'VE GOT YOUR BACK.
This billboard is currently gracing south-bound highway 280 on the border between Minneapolis and St. Paul. For some reason, the designer decided to align the headline on the right, despite the fact that there are two punctuation marks.

This leads to an unclear alignment. Is it flush right? It doesn't quite seem so, because the two periods don't "read" as full letters. They look more like spaces at the end of the line, with the T in GOT sticking out beyond the overall block of text. Because of this, the type doesn't appear to be flush right, but it's not centered, either. It just looks messy.

Here's my attempt at hanging the punctuation:

Rasmussen College billboard with headline LOOK AHEAD. WE'VE GOT YOUR BACK.
To my eye, it looks much more clearly aligned on the right, and therefore more coherent.

(Yes, I really do spend my time thinking about things like this.)


Michael Leddy said...

The original is difficult to read -- though I don't have your typography chops and couldn't say why. Your version is much better.

Jazzbumpa said...

With a short message in huge letters, readability ought not be an issue.

In fact, neither is the typography, layout, or any other esthetic consideration.

The goal of the billboard is to get people to think about Rasmussen College, and it seems to be working.

No such thing as bad advertising - right?


PrudeHawkeye said...

Reminds me of this great xkcd: