Center alignment is widely used in magazine design for crossheads and in book design for title pages. When chosen consciously centering can be extremely effective; when chosen as a "default" or fall-back option, it can make layouts appear stodgy or generic. At its best, it is formal and classical; at its worst, it is static and conventional, andif you are centering whole paragraphsit is less readable. The potential pitfall of centered type is that the even amount of white space on either side of the heading can create a symmetry that may be at odds with asymmetrical nature of the ragged right text. Centering is also commonly associated with birth announcements, wedding invitations, and…gravestones.
Guidelines for Centering Type
Figure 8.4. Center alignment used for poetry.
Figure 8.5. A static Center alignment (example A) and a more dynamic Left alignment (example B).
Figure 8.6. Optically centering a headline. In example A, the headline is mathematically centered. In example B, the headline has been optically centeredby adding a small amount of right indentover the first line of type.
Part I: Character Formats
Going with the Flow
Getting the Lead Out
Kern, Baby, Kern
Sweating the Small Stuff: Special Characters, White Space, and Glyphs
OpenType: The New Frontier in Font Technology
Part II: Paragraph Formats
Aligning Your Type
Paragraph Indents and Spacing
First Impressions: Creating Great Opening Paragraphs
Dont Fear the Hyphen
Mastering Tabs and Tables
Part III: Styles
Stylin with Paragraph and Character Styles
Part IV: Page Layout
Setting Up Your Document
Everything in Its Right Place: Using Grids
Text Wraps: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly