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Chapter 8. Using Adobe InDesign CS2 > The Power of Typography

The Power of Typography

Take away all the fancy features of InDesign, and you expose the core of what really makes InDesign so special: typography. In fact, with a simple glance at a few columns of text in a newspaper or magazine, you can usually tell whether InDesign was used to lay out the page. My first real job (when I say “real,” I mean “paying”) was as a typesetter, and I used a sophisticated system in which I typed in codes to change typefaces. Then I had to wait until I developed the output from the imagesetter in a darkroom to see what my page actually looked like. Although that may sound archaic (and I assure you, it was), the result was perfectly kerned type, clear spacing, and immaculate columns.

At the time, PageMaker and QuarkXPress were touting how desktop publishing was going to change the world (which it did), but as a type professional, I simply couldn't get the same beautiful typography that the “archaic” systems offered. You could buy a CD of 10,000 fonts for $20, but the quality you got in return wasn't close to what you were used to seeing from a high-end typesetter. To many, the fine art of typography was lost. But all stories have a happy ending, and in our story, InDesign is the hero that saves the day.


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