Technical Writing



Document design


Design readings


Answer these questions and email me your answers.
The answers must be in your own words and not a cut&paste from another source.

1. Why is the use of white space important? It increases the overall page count (and cost) of a document.

2. Define

Serif and sans serif fonts
Proportional font

3. A colleague has written a document and boldfaced many words.  He says they are all very important and need to be emphasized.  What is your response?

4. When do you use a bullet list and when do you use a numbered list?

5. Define a running header. When would you make the right & left page running headers different?   Why would page number placement vary?


Your company has to provide several resumes as part of a project proposal (the resumes are for the major people in your company who will be doing the work). Everyone's resume will be reformatted so they all have the same layout and design. A vice president has asked you to research what would be the best font for the resumes and to submit a report to her.

Write up a formal 400 word or so evaluation of different fonts and make a recommendation on which one to use. Be sure to justify your choice. You may want to use different font examples within your report. Properly cite your sources.

Some sources on resume fonts. You can find lots of others. Some of these fonts are on your computer or you can download them. Others cost...don't download them.

Beyond Helvetica: 9 More Résumé Fonts That Stand Out, According To Designers

The Best Fonts to Use on Your Resume

Evalution tips

This report is only about font choice. Long discussions of why consistency is important or a list of items to include for good resume design are outside of scope and will count against you.

Use good grammar and writing style.

Document is single space with a blank line between paragraphs. Use the formatting techiques you learned in the sunspace assignment.

Discussion questions


One design source says "Most Oldstyle designs, typefaces such as Bembo, Caslon, Garamond, and Adobe Minion, for example, do not require leading beyond the 120% mentioned above. Transitional designs such as Baskerville and Times Roman require a bit more, and Moderns such as Bodoni and Walbaum require even more still." Create a long paragraph and format it in different fonts. Play around with the leading to see how it affects different fonts, and be sure to use both serif and sans serif fonts. (You will want to give the reader an impression of a single spaced page.)

Create multiple identical lines set at 12 points but with different typefaces ( you can pick your typefaces, but for example use, Times, Arial, Garamond, Gil Sans). This works best if you have about 2 lines of text. Explain why they are different lengths.

Using different fonts, figure out how proportional fonts handle numbers. Clearly, 1 needs less space than 8.

Write up a summary of your findings and post them to the discussion board.

You should print these lines out for your comparision. They will display slightly different on paper and on a screen.

Try formatting variations on the following:

You may need to ask someone else to give some feedback on looking the fonts since you'll overload on this very quickly.

weak answer Here is a sentence formatted in five different fonts. They are different lengths.


Samples of good and poor design

These samples are annotated with various good and bad points.

Sample 1 Sample 5 Sample 8
Sample 2 Sample 6  
Sample 3 Sample 7  



Design by Michael J. Albers Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
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