Typesetting matters

Typesetting and layout aren’t just important to how a document looks. They can also be vital to how easy it is to read. Content creators now have many options for handling these things themselves—everything from default themes in MS Word and Pages all the way up to TeX if you’re in a scientific field. But at Talk Science to Me, we still get a fair amount of work doing typesetting and layout, so I thought it would be worth explaining what you’re really paying for when you hire someone for these services, and what you can reasonably expect to get for your money.

A hand-lettered Latin Bible from 1407. Unsurprisingly, aspiring Bible owners were not encouraged to do their own calligraphy. Adrian Pingstone, 2005 (Public Domain)First of all, there’s a lot more to typography than laughing at Comic Sans and hating Papyrus. And while you probably do have some preferences of your own, as Seth Godin points out, “Typography in your work isn’t for you.” It’s for