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Measure | An Overlooked Element of Typography

You may be asking, "What is measure, and why is it important when it comes to typography?". Those who understand and use typography know what leading and kerning is, but measure is an element that is often forgotten or overlooked.

A simple definition of measure or "the measure" is the width of a block of text. Considering this when designing, especially for the web, is important because it has a major affect on how legible the text is to the user. Common mistakes involving measure include.

  • Text blocks that are too wide. This causes the user to get lost in the text. It is difficult for the user to travel from one line of text to the next. This causes eye fatigue and can cause the user to abandon the text.
  • Text blocks that are too narrow. Having a text block that is too narrow causes too much eye movement from left to right and line to line.

Keeping your text blocks at a good measure allows your users the chance to quickly and comfortably read the text you are presenting to them. This is very important when trying to convey your message quickly as many times is the case on the web.


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