I picked up this find at the thrift store earlier today. It's a style book that contains the essential rules governing The New York Times style and it was published in 1950. It includes explanations of proofreader marks, rules on abbreviations, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and division. "When possible, avoid running over a syllable of two letters. Never end a paragraph with a divided syllable of two letters. Never run over "ed" when it is not a separate syllable. Never letter-space to avoid bad division." Gladly, not a writer, printer or editor of this publication, I flipped to what caught my eye. The typographical styles!
"The body type of The New York Times is 8 point Ideal on an 8-point base. Page 1 is leaded with 1.5 point leads, making the type 8 point on a 9.5 point base." For advertisements, "First line bodlface, first word caps, balance lightface agate; second line indent 1 em; 10 point, 14 point and 18 point Sparton lightface permitted in captions, signatures and broken lines." And on it goes to stylize book reviews, business news, bond quotations to death notices. Crazy good.
Thursday, 4 February 2010