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Typography Element Errors


Some things you may know and some things you won't.

If you’re like me you’ll sometimes get these wrong or at least question which are correct.

Some are correct in one Geolocation and then the opposite in another.

Let’s take a look.
Quotes & Apostrophes

There are two different types of quotes. Smart & Dumb quotes.

Smart quotes are usually curved in shape and have different opening and closing versions for use at the beginning and end of quoted material, respectively.
Dumb (or straight) quotes are usually simple tapered vertical or angled marks.

The design of smart quotes will vary between serif and sans-serif typefaces, but they will never point straight up-and-down.

Here are some helpful pointers:
  1. Single quotes should be used inside of double quotes.
  2. All punctuation should be inside the quotes
  3. Always capitalize the first letter of a quote if the quote is a complete sentence.
  4. Don’t use quotes for emphasis, use italics
“ For once, maybe someone will call me ‘sir’ without adding, ‘you’re making a scene’. ”
Dashes & Hyphens

There are many different types of dashes.

There are a few types of dashes/hyphens that are used. These are: En Dash, Em Dash, Figure Dash, Hyphen-Minus, Hyphen & Minus Sign.

We are going to cover the first two here, En Dash & Em Dash

En Dash

An unspaced En Dash can be used in place of the word “through to” when indicating a range of values, such as numbers, times and dates. For example, 5th–9th July. It’s also used to show relationships between two things, such as a Sydney–LA flight. An en dash with spaces can also be used in place of an em dash, depending on editorial style.

Em Dash

Em Dashes can be used where parentheses might otherwise be used. They can also be used in place of a colon or when a comma is too weak but a full stop is too strong. An em dash is also used to show attribution of a quote, placed in front of the person’s name.

28th May–4th June
En dash indicating a range of values
It takes two to lie – one to lie and one to listen.
En dash with spaces
It takes two to lie—one to lie and one to listen.
Em dash without spaces
‘ Donuts? I told you I don’t like ethnic food! ’
—C. Montgomery Burns
Em dash showing attribution of a quote