Chapter 9. Paragraph Indents and Spacing

TYPOGRAPHY, LIKE ALL COMMUNICATIONS MEDIA, relies on established conventions that are understood, often unconsciously, by its audience. One such convention is the use of indents or spacing to distinguish one paragraph from another. Paragraphs represent units of thought, and a new paragraph signals the reader that a new idea is coming. While there are several ways to indicate a new paragraph, two methods are most prevalent: indenting the first line and adding spacing before the paragraph.

Figure 9.1. Two ways of differentiating paragraphs: First-line indents set to 1 pica for continuous reading text (example A) and Paragraph Spacing (example B) with a 6-point space above for more technical material.