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First let me confess that I'm approaching this from a web perspective so some of my terminology might not be correct for you. I wanted to see what other people and hopefully people from a more print orientated background thought of this.
I'm trying to make the text align to a baseline grid. I think I understand the principle of vertical rhythm where the main text must return to the rhythm following deviations. I'm doing this by setting up a baseline of 18px and using a line-height of 18px. I'm ignoring spacing between headings and paragraphs for this example.
The main body text is 12/18.
Headings are 24/36 so the line-height is a multiple of the baseline.
That works fine but to my eye, the line-height is too large for the heading - this is especially apparent when there are only 2 lines of heading. To me the line height should be somewhere in between 18 and 36. I could use a line height of 27 but that means that the following text is no longer on the rhythm, its shifted by half of the baseline.
One solution would be to add a margin of 9px so that the space taken up by the heading is still a multiple of 18 (27+9=36). The problem with that if the heading goes over two lines I’d get (27x2)54 + 9 = 63. I won't ever know for sure how many lines the headline will take up.
If I use multiples of the baseline some of my headings will have line heights that are too large.
If I use line heights that seem reasonable I lose my baseline grid meaning that if I have two columns the text won't line up.
Does that make sense or am I totally misunderstanding this? Maybe this is something that print designers come up against all the time and make decisions based on a per project basis. Maybe its just my personal preference that doesn't like the 36px line height.
Any thoughts or pointers would be well appreciated.