Typographical Analysis of Bodytype
in Finnish Newspapers

Interview-based evaluation of typographical measuring

Bachelor’s Thesis 2005

Jasso Lamberg

Kymenlaakso Polytechnic

Media Communication, Graphic Design
Supervisors: Kata Lyytikäinen, Heikki Rajasalo
61 pages+ 9 pages of appendixes

Full text available only in Finnish here.

The circulation of Finnish newspapers has been dropping for the last ten years. It has been suggested that an increase in quality would provide the solution for keeping the readers on board. These reforms have yet failed to reach the realm of typography. In many newspapers, questions related to the appearance of the medium are seen as less significant.

The aim of this study was to analyze the typographic quality in the body text of Finnish newspapers. Questions about the role of typography in a commodity such as a newspaper are reviewed through interviews of four typographic professionals. In addition the study examines the different factors that contribute to the quality of a typographic composition. It also contemplates how these factors could be used to systematically analyze columns of bodytext.

The interviewed professionals were quite like-minded in their answers. According to them, a newspaper does not necessarily exclude quality. Compromises must be made in order to meet the deadlines, but nevertheless, one should strive for the best possible outcome.

Typography of the bodytext brands the newspaper. With modern layout programs many procedures can be automized and thus ease the hurry of the page designer. The interviewed saw the intuitive professional eye as the best way to evaluate typographic quality. None of them saw reader surveys as truly beneficial tools for judging typography.