There seem to be different opinions on what is called an orphan and a widow. The Chicago Manual of Style and Robert Bringhurst in the Elements of Typographic Style agree:
Widow: A paragraph-ending line that falls at the beginning of the following page or column, thus separated from the rest of the text. (They have a past but no future.)
Orphan: A paragraph-opening line that appears by itself at the bottom of a page or column, thus separated from the rest of the text. (They have no past but a future.)
Single word at the end of a paragraph sometimes referred to as a runt: also a problem for the reader and needs to be resolved.
You can call them whatever you want, maybe widphans or ordows? They are a problem and need to be fixed!
Butterick’s Practical Typography is a wonderful resource. If you are in a hurry it gives you what you need to know about type in ten minutes, but it also serves as an interactive text book covering the basics and specifics in clickable bits.
Good typography is measured by how well it reinforces the meaning of the text, not by some abstract scale of merit.
Here is a sampling of what you will find.
- The four most important typographic choices you make in any document are point size, line spacing, line length, and font, because those choices determine how the body text looks.
- point size should be 10–12 points in printed documents, 15-25 pixels on the web.
- line spacing should be 120–145% of the point size.
- The average line length should be 45–90 characters (including spaces).
- The easiest and most visible improvement you can make to your typography is to use a professional font, like those found in font recommendations.
- Avoid goofy fonts, monospaced fonts, and system fonts, especially times new roman and Arial.
- Use curly quotation marks, not straight ones (see straight and curly quotes).
- Put only one space between sentences.
- Don’t use multiple word spaces or other white-space characters in a row.
- Never use underlining, unless it’s a hyperlink.
- Use centered text sparingly.
- Use bold or italic as little as possible.
- all caps are fine for less than one line of text.
- If you don’t have real small caps, don’t use them at all.
- Use 5–12% extra letterspacing with all caps and small caps.
- kerning should always be turned on.
- Use first-line indents that are one to four times the point size of the text, or use 4–10 points of space between paragraphs. But don’t use both.
- If you use justified text, also turn on hyphenation.
- Don’t confuse hyphens and dashes, and don’t use multiple hyphens as a dash.
- Use ampersands sparingly, unless included in a proper name.
- In a document longer than three pages, one exclamation point is plenty (see question marks and exclamation points).
- Use proper trademark and copyright symbols—not alphabetic approximations.
- Put a nonbreaking space after paragraph and section marks.
- Make ellipses using the proper character, not periods and spaces.
- Make sure apostrophes point downward.
- Make sure foot and inch marks are straight, not curly.
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point sizes, line lengths, line-spacing (leading), and letter-spacing (tracking), and adjusting the space between pairs of letters (kerning). The term typography is also applied to the style, arrangement, and appearance of the letters, numbers, and symbols.
Information design is the practice of presenting information in a way that fosters efficient and effective understanding of it. The term has come to be used specifically for graphic design for displaying information effectively, rather than just attractively or for artistic expression. Information design is closely related to the field of data visualization.
Link toTypography and Information Design Syllabus:
Type & Info Des Syllabus – Koren 2018