More or less to see if they would fit, I condensed the rules for Cowboys With Big Hearts onto a single double-sided letter page, just right for folding up in a tuck box. They fit and I didn’t lose much color, although it pains me. Can you read this or is it an exercise in tiny type futility? That’s 8-point Garamond, which seems cruel.

One Cowboy, Two Pages, Three Point Type

7 thoughts on “One Cowboy, Two Pages, Three Point Type

  • November 19, 2009 at 9:26 am


    i haven’t printed this out but just checked it on-screen, so take the comments with a grain of something.

    8pnt is really the threshold for serif type and that depends greatly on the typeface. I think this is ok. I realize that for “period” stuff you may insist on this but you should also try this with with a good sans face and see if it doesn’t help with your legibility issue.

    also, the graphics on the first page could be significantly reduced ifn it’s just color material. In fact if it IS just color, you may want to ditch them for the column inches you get back and add in a few period scrolls or bullets in your chaptering. Speaking of columns, at this size you’re going to want to create a better gutter between columns so that it’s easier to flow through the text.

    Finally, back to type, the two things i feel confident you’ll have difficulty with at this size is the italics and at present the decorative typeface you’re using for the section titles is closing up too much at this scale and becoming illegible.

    You’ve done a hell of a job slapping a ton of info into a tiny space. Huzzah!

  • November 19, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Thanks Eric, that’s the sort of feedback I was looking for.

    Part of the issue is the logical flow of text, which sort of leaves two large holes after the front matter and part 1. For this I just filled them with images but I don’t have to.

    I can definitely try it with a sans serif and see if that’s easier on the eyes or more functional.

  • November 19, 2009 at 12:56 pm


    On my screen its barely legible, but I ran it out to a printer, and its actaully very readable to me in print.

    When I tried to fold it up to make it more like it would come out of deck, the margins on the columns seemed really small.

    If you’re going to be doing the folding yourself, it is going to be exacting work.

  • November 19, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks Jeff. I revised it, upping the type to ten point Verlag Condensed with 11 point leading. No room for art.

  • November 19, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Looks better to me. easier to read and to fold.

    Haven’t proof read it all, but in Sample Challenges I note

    “I take the die and add it to Swineburne’s Dyspnea”

    “die” should be “token”

  • November 20, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    much easier to follow now!! i’m not in love with Verlag (odd m-height) but it’s a far more legible than it was.

    in general the columns and spacing look solid. if you want to finesse it more: the bullet points in section 2 prolly want tighter leading within and greater leading between instances; also, the Titles within sections are running really tight to the content… you might want to let that leading out slightly.

    two other things to be aware of that don’t seem yet evident is that you have color and kerning as tools to help you keep things in line. If you want to stay with black and white, you could still use a 70% or 80% gray to offset things. And the Subtitles at times compete with the bold advice sections, eg. “Choose your complaints” and “Precious Things” on p.1. You could change the size and or color on either of these to help pull them away from each other; and you could also play with “tracking” on the subtitles (“Precious Things”) to open it up more and have it separate.

    probably too much information. the changes at present are a huge step forward.

  • November 20, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    No, that’s great advice and helpful. I’m avoiding color as a cost issue. There will be a pdf as well, and that can be more luxurious since I’m not paying for its printing.

    Jeff – thanks for the die catch.

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