Chapter: Formating Type

Figures and Tabular Tables

name of your book, your name University of Kansas, 2023

Add to the beginning or end of the book.
Designed by Your Name. Class project for Typographic Systems at the University of Kansas, 2023. The text was compiled from the following sources: Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst, Getting it Right with Type: the Do's and Don'ts of Typography by Victoria Square, Mac is Not A Typewriter by Robin Williams. This book is not to be sold to the public and to only be used by the designer for their reference and student design portfolio.

All the content below must be in your workbook. However you can organize it in any way you want. Each section can be a chapter or you can organize the content into groups and those become chapters.


01 rules check sheet
02 glossary of typographic rules

03 special characters
04 column width and hyphenation
05 hyphens and dashes  
06 quotes and apostrophes
07 kerning

08 figures and tabular tables
09 justification, letterspacing, word spacing
10 paragraph breaks

11 anatomy of type
12 typographic color
13 font classifications
14 glossary of terms (optional)

Figures and Tabular Tables

︎︎︎what can you call out,...?

Our uppercase alphabet came from the indiscrimination capitals of the Romans. Our lowercase alphabet came from the European uncial alphabets of the Middle Ages, which themselves evolved from scribal approximations of the uppercase alphabet. But our figures (numbers) were invented in India. They spread westward through the influence of Persian and Arab mathematicians. Traditionally they were known as Arabic numerals, but later as Hindu-Ara­bic nu­mer­als. Arabic and In­dic lan­guages, of course, look very dif­fer­ent from Eu­ro­pean lan­guages. Thus fig­ures have al­ways pre­sented a chal­lenge for type de­sign­ers, as they rely on shapes that are found nowhere in the up­per­case and low­er­case alphabets. There are two design styles of figures: Lining, also referred to as aligning. And Old Style, also called lowercase, ranging, or text figures.

Lining Figures
Lining figures, often known as aligning, cap, or modern figures, maintain a consistent height, typically aligning precisely with both the baseline and cap height. Although they are commonly designed to match the height of capital letters, there can be exceptions. Lining figures are exceptionally well-suited for all-cap settings, such as headlines, and for instances where vertically-aligned numbers are needed, delivering a consistently pleasing appearance.

Old-style Figures
Despite their name, old-style figures have many uses in modern typography. This elegant style of figure is pleasing – and often preferred in running text. It is less intrusive than lining figures, allowing the numerals to blend with the surrounding lowercase characters. Old-style figures also pair up nicely with small caps. While they are available in specific typefaces, they are often included as an integral component of supplementary or expert fonts. Old-style figures, also referred to as non-lining, lowercase, hanging, or text figures, exhibit diverse heights and alignments, as opposed to the uniform height and alignment of lining figures. Similar to lowercase characters, old-style figures share the same x-height and feature both ascenders (like the 6 and 8) and descenders (comprising the 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9). In some typefaces, variations exist between the design of old-style and lining figures, encompassing both aesthetic changes (such as the addition of a ball terminal to a figure) and functional adjustments (like the inclusion of serifs to a tabular sans serif '1' to enhance its width and achieve a more evenly spaced appearance).

Old-style figures find their strength in seamlessly integrating within running text, as they share ascenders and descenders that help them harmonize with the surrounding text, a quality lining figures lack. In contrast to lining figures, old-style figures are meticulously crafted to mimic the appearance of lowercase letters. They vary in height, with some extending below the baseline and others rising above it. It's no surprise that old-style figures are at their best when employed in lowercase body text.

 using old style figures (optional -> and show it using lining figures)
Ernest Miller Hemingway, born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois, led a life marked by literary brilliance and adventurous exploits. After serving as an ambulance driver in World War I and being wounded in Italy in 1918, Hemingway's journey as a renowned writer began. His first major novel, "The Sun Also Rises," was published in 1926, and in 1927, he married his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, after divorcing his first wife, Hadley Richardson. Over the years, he produced acclaimed works such as "A Farewell to Arms" (1929) and "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (1940). Hemingway reported on the Spanish Civil War in 1937 and later accompanied Allied troops during the D-Day landings in Normandy in 1944. In 1952, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for "The Old Man and the Sea" and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. Despite his literary successes, Hemingway faced personal challenges, and on July 2, 1961, he tragically died by suicide in Ketchum, Idaho. His posthumously published memoir, "A Moveable Feast," and other works continue to contribute to his lasting legacy in American literature.

︎︎︎SHOW 3 EXAMPLES OF LINING FIGURES (and note the typeface)
︎︎︎SHOW 3 EXAMPLE OF Old Style FIGURES (and note the typeface)

How to use numbers in tables (using TABS)
Exercise in aligning numbers in a table (create exercise using tabs)

︎︎︎Use lining figures
CORN 12.50 134.42 17.80 23.47 33.25
GAS 730.05 86.75 22.11 923.55 5.75
WHEAT 10.25 76.10 360.75 1023.45 523.10

CORN 12.50 134.42 17.80 23.47 33.25
GAS 730.05 86.75 22.11 923.55 5.75
WHEAT 10.25 76.10 360.75 1023.45 523.10