GOOD Design Daily: Do You Double Space After Periods? GOOD Design Daily: Do You Double Space After Periods?

GOOD Design Daily: Do You Double Space After Periods?

by Alissa Walker

January 21, 2011

Designers tend to be overly opinionated about lots of things that the rest of the world doesn't care much about. Bad logos. Poor color choices. And don't get them started on the pros and cons (mostly cons) of Comic Sans. But there's one argument where designers, namely type designers, do know best. And that's the argument against placing a double space after a period.
The deal is this: Long, long ago some of us learned to type on typewriters, which, for the most part, used monospace fonts, or letters that each took up the exact same width. We were instructed to insert an extra space to give that period some room before the next capital letter.
Using a single space means that you understand that technology has changed since the decades ago when you first used to type. A single space means you realize not everything your teachers taught you in high school still holds true. A single space means you have respect for the journalists and designers who are working hard to take those extra spaces out of the drafts you're sending us.
Manjoo's strongest argument is one that I agree with wholeheartedly. Even if you disagree with the single-spacers, how about this idea:  It's easier. It takes less time. You're saving yourself hundreds of characters per day. Millions of characters over a lifetime! Just think of how much more you could say in your Twitter messages!

Yet alas, we will perhaps never close the distance between hardworking designers and editors, and those who refuse to acknowledge that technology is here to help. I will continue to get emails riddled with those gaping voids as a reminder. Forget political rhetoric. This could be the next big cultural divide. 

Comparison paragraphs provided by Interpretation By Design

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

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GOOD Design Daily: Do You Double Space After Periods?