Line Break Rhetoric

microspective's picture

If a line break creates a hiccup in readability, does it make for bad typography?

On a client's business card:

special gifts
adorned with
puppy and teddy
bear illustrations

The measure is short to showcase a portion of the client's illustration.

In visual context, the line breaks are exactly where they need to be, but the interruption of "teddy bear" is unnerving to me.

Only, not as unnerving as the alternative...

special gifts
adorned with
puppy and teddy bear
illustrations

Thoughts?

hrant's picture

Can you go to 5 lines?

BTW, try an ampersand.

hhp

Nick Shinn's picture

Are they as good as chimp pix?

special gifts
adorned with
illustrations of
puppies and
teddy bears

or Hrant's:

special gifts
adorned with
puppy and
teddy bear
illustrations

microspective's picture

Excellent! Thanks, gentlemen.

Hrant, I've got the curse of the Grammar Nazi, and I can't conscionably use an ampersand if it's not in a title or the like.

These are fantastic solutions to the specific problem I used as an example. But what about the theory behind it? What if I did have to keep it to four lines? When it comes to design, is it better to break the line for readability and have an inappropriately ragged edge, or is it best to keep them looking balanced and break up words that should probably be kept together?

hrant's picture

> is it better to break the line for readability

The idea of readability tends to apply to long, immersive text only. For such short text looks surely trumps readability every time. Frankly any problem people will have reading that smoothly will be momentary and immediately forgotten.

BTW, if you center the text you can (and in fact often should) have great variance in line length.

hhp

microspective's picture

> ...text looks surely trumps readability every time.
I think you're right.

> ...center the text...
Agreed! Unfortunately, it does not apply in this particular case, as it is only on a business card, left edge, to make room for the illustrator's graphic on the the right.

jupiterboy's picture

Do you need a hyphen with that compound modifier?

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