Project 3: Typesetting

Assigned Typeface: Merriweather


Who: Eben Sorkin

What: Merriweather contains a full set of weights and styles — light, normal, bold and ultra-bold — all with matching italics.

  • Workhouse type family
  • Large x height
  • Slightly condensed letterforms
  • Nice, sturdy serifs
  • Pristine text readability

When: 2011

Why: designed specifically for screens, for better text readability


  • Elegant
  • Simple
  • Sophisticated
  • Minimalistic
  • Sturdy
  • Natural
  • Identifiable
  • Displayable



Readability Experimenting

Indenting Paragraphs and Font Size

I first tried out indenting the paragraphs instead of having an extra line in between the paragraphs. I thought that the overall spread looked too crammed when there were no spaces between the paragraphs. I think that for my future spreads on this project, I plan to space out the paragraphs instead of indenting them because I feel that for this specific spread, spacing out the paragraphs would look better and cleaner.

I personally feel that my essay is pretty long, and I needed a suitable font size that doesn’t fill up the spread. I tried font size 7, but when I printed it out to read, it was a little too small and uncomfortable to read. I felt that font size 9 was the best to fit on the spread as well as the best to read on paper.

Font Size: 9 and 7, Leading: 15


I think setting what the amount of leading is very important because not giving enough space between each line can feel stuffy for the readers. The 13 leading space seems crammed for Merriweather, and that may be because Merriweather has a large x height. I feel that 15 leading space gives enough space, but also not too much space.

Font Size: 9, Leading: 13 and 15

Overall, I was experimenting with different features for the paragraphs such as leading, font size, and indenting to see which was the best for readability. I printed them out to see for myself what it would be like if I were to read this on paper. I also asked some of my friends to read the spreads and asked which was the most comfortable on their eyes. I personally think that no indent, font size 9, and 15 leading is the best readability for Merriweather. It’s easy on the eyes and is the best readability for readers.

Spread Experimenting

While making these spreads, I tried to make the two pages to seem in unison instead of making two different pages. I did this by adding text that overlaps between the left and right pages. I also played around with continuing letters from left to right. Some spreads don’t directly show that it is one spread, but the stylistic features make the two pages seem together. This exercise helped me get creative with how I could layout different text boxes within the columns to have the best readability, but also to have an interesting layout that suits the mood of Merriweather.

Color and Image

For this I added an image of a computer because Merriweather was made to be read on screen which is also the main idea of the essay. In order to make the two pages seem together, I used the same color to show the relationship between the left and right pages. However, the white font on the blue is a little hard to read because there’s not enough contrast.

For this spread, I added diagonal lines because Merriweather is known for having diagonal stressed lines instead of vertical stressed lines in the letters. I also used grey for the paragraphs instead of black because I felt that the overall atmosphere is very soft, and using black would have too much of a contrast against the white background.

More Iterations

Iterations after feedback

Final Critique

  • (left side text paragraph) don’t make very slight changes because that could look like a mistake, instead emphasize it more or don’t change at all
  • consider why left side uses 6 columns while right side uses 5 columns
  • consider why left body paragraph has a bigger font size

Final Outcome

For my final spread, I used 8 point font for the body paragraphs, however, for the body paragraph on the left page, I used 6 columns and for the right page, I used 5 columns for the body paragraphs. I tried using 5 columns for the left page, but I thought that the overall composition on the left did not look good with a 5 column text. It’s also the introduction, so I thought it would be okay to add a little different emphasis. I used color to show unity in the two pages. Overall, I really enjoyed this project. I think that I explored a lot of different compositions that helped me understand hierarchy, harmony, scale, balance, emphasis, and contrast a lot more.



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