07.14.16: Stop the squeeze, please
LAST WEEK’S HINT concluded: “You’re editors first. Edit!”
Of course, that’s based on the assumption that most of you who do design are also trained (at least to some degree) in the practice of editing. I know that’s not true for all of you.
And some designers, I know, are not given the freedom to edit a story. Instead, they are instructed by the editor or whoever: “Do what ya gotta do to get it all in.” Aarrrgghhh! That’s not editing; it’s cramming. And that’s a disservice to the reader.
In the example above, the first leg is two lines long. Just two lines, but too long nonetheless. The type in the second line is tracked tightly—much too tightly. Letters are banging into each other, making the entire story difficult to read. But the story fits. Ahhh…we’ve satisfied the writer, whose deathless prose has not been trimmed. But we’ve made the text so difficult to read that many readers…well…just won’t.
In the third leg, 30 seconds of editing in the last two paragraphs has made the story a couple of lines tighter—and kept the text at proper tracking so the reader can get through it easily.
So…the reader wins and the writer wins. Because the editor and/or designer did the job right.
You’re editors first. Edit!