I was thrilled to be asked by Drew a few weeks ago to pen something for this years 24ways. I’ve mentioned typesetting tables in a couple of presentations recently, notably, @media and the Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin. However, due to time constraints and the breadth of material I intended to cover, it hasn’t been possible to cover typesetting tables in the depth I wanted to. Until now.
As I say in the article, typesetting tables is often overlooked for a number of reasons, although it’s mostly because it can be tedious, time-consuming and, therefore, dull. But the devil really is in the details, especially for information and data in tables. Tables are not read like sentences. They’re scanned horizontally and vertically and have to be designed to help the reader do this. It’s not a time for eye candy. I tried to explain some simple rules that I apply when designing tables. I’m not saying this is the only way to do it, it’s just my way.
Anyway, hope you enjoy the article.