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Copyfitting to a zigzag.

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James Deux's picture
Joined: 16 Sep 2008 - 7:47pm
Copyfitting to a zigzag.

I am copyfitting some text to what-will-be a report with letter sized paper (though the spreads are double that... and I don't know the name!)

I am wondering if zigzagging the copy is ever permissible and what would be the conditions necessary to merit it? Since we are a visual community, a graphic:

1 2

3 4


Following the grid straight down hits me wrong entirely. The point size is 9/12 so I feel as though the type is simply too small to run that much of it. (It's Minion Pro). Thoughts? I feel as though I have seen this 1,000 times in other publications but alas, I never paid much attention. Visually, the copy is very pleasing but even I get a little confused as to the flow; sometimes I read down as opposed to across.

Jason Pagura's picture
Joined: 10 Sep 2006 - 6:19pm

This is a normal reading sequence for comic book panels. For plain columns of text, though, you may need some indicator that the column continues across rather than down the page half. A centered horizontal rule or rule-like ornament should do the trick.

Don McCahill's picture
Joined: 30 Mar 2006 - 7:55pm

Edmund Arnold called the ordering you mention a "Canadian Wrap" in his books on newspaper design in the 50s and 60s. (Very dated now.) Thing is, I am in Canada, and had never seen such. Perhaps it was a western Canada thing. There would be a deck between the 1/2 and 3/4 levels.

I personally find it confusing.