Thu
Sep 25 2008 3:03pm

More Todd Klein Comics Typographical Goodness

Comic book letterer extraordinaire Todd Klein combines two of my favorite things—comics and typography—in his fantastic blog. His latest entry answers a reader's question regarding dots, dashes, em-dashes, ellipses, and underlining (“We NEVER underline in comics!”):

...why is the double hyphen still used in comic book lettering when the en-dash (or em-dash) is so much more elegant? I can’t see any reason for it other than “that’s the way it’s always been done.” As the source of all things lettering, I hope you would be able to tell me.

He then proceeds to explain at length, in a fascinating article. Check it out here.

4 comments
Teka Lynn
1. Teka Lynn
I still use the -- double hyphen when I want to write an em-dash, because that's how I learned on the typewriter even though I've been using computer keyboards since 1990. If there's an em-dash key on the standard QWERTY setup, I haven't found it yet.
Teka Lynn
2. Todd Klein
Teka, if you hold down the Option and Shift keys when typing a hyphen, you'll get an em-dash.
Teka Lynn
3. Teka Lynn
Ah! Thank you very much.
Tanya Koenig
4. tdkoenig
In Windows I use alt-0151 with the number being typed on the number pad; alt-0150 gives the n-dash. The shortcuts can be found in Character Map program on the bottom right of the window. Most of these shortcuts work for ascii characters only, not all the extended characters of today's fonts.

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