To hang... or not to hang?

dux's picture

hello all :-)

I am setting a brochure where both of the two text columns of an A4 page are almost filled with bullet points. My dilemma is this: do I hang the bullets outside the margin or not? Opinions on this matter are appreciated!

http://www.stereotypography.com/bullets.jpg

William Berkson's picture

I think the problem here is that the writer is misusing bullet points. These should highlight *short* lists. It is absurd have a page full of bullets, as they no longer highlight anything. I think they will look bad wherever you put them.

I think the bullets need to go. Then you can try a variety of solutions, such as having the titles bigger or bolder and the list as is, indented without the bullets, with items separated by extra leading. Or have the lists with hanging indents, no bullet, etc.

mrriddle's picture

I would try hanging the bullets outside and making them a stipple maybe 40 or 50% black? This way they are there

mrriddle's picture

BTW I agree with William. It is absurd to have this many bullets on the page. It can show a lack of ability to write short concise copy using proper English.

You could mockup a page with bullet points turned into paragraphs to show that you will have a greater economy of space

William Berkson's picture

>assuming the client wants them

Hopefully, if you show the client samples with and without them, the client will "get the point"!

typeo's picture



Hello all:

While I agree with most of you on the use and overuse of the bullet point, the question was "to hang or not?" In my experience, bullet points hang outside of the margin. I hang to the left, but that's another matter.

aluminum's picture

I'd suggest no bullets and more spacing between each paragraph instead. Bullets used like this typically distract from the content.

All that said, when I use bullets, they don't hang outside of the main body margins. I consider them 'sub-points' to the main text, and, like in an outline, need to be indented to show hierarchy.

xensen's picture

I agree with darrel. As subordinant points they shouldn't hang. But do try to get rid of them altogether.

mrriddle's picture

tom and darrel

I agree with you that subordinant points shouldn't hang (unless you use a small font).

However, in this case the points are virtually the entire text and are in fact the reason why people would choose to attend the particular session at the conference.

In this instance it is much cleaner to have the strong left alignment.

aluminum's picture

Maybe we're talking about two different things.

I think the bullet needs to hang from the text it is referring to, but shouldn't hange outside the 'parent text' margin.

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