Design should work with punctuation, not against it

How refreshing to read Simon Loxley’s piece about the apostrophe.

How refreshing to read Simon Loxley’s piece about the apostrophe.

As copy head at catalogue company Lands’ End (astute scholars will note the error!), this little glyph is an inextricable part of my daily working life.

For years I have been infuriated by the cavalier attitude of designers towards punctuation. We can just about accept the so-called greengrocers’ apostrophe for its often comical value, but those involved in creating signage and facias should learn the rules.

It’s probably too late for Tesco – remember ‘Todays Tesco’ on a zillion carrier bags? Can you imagine the French or Germans, renowned for their jingoistic approach to linguistics, allowing the wholesale abandonment of ‘e’ accents and umlauts?

Typographers, especially, using their skills to mould the visual appearance of words, should adapt their practice to work with our punctuation and not against it.

Andrew Gallant, Copy manager and editor, Lands’ End UK, Rutland LE15 6US

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  • Benjamin November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    You’re competely right! I am currently preparing for an English-test, and I cannot find a simple, official punctuation guide. For the German language, you can download an official pdf file that includes all the rules. So everybody knows what’s right and wrong. In the English language, I’ve got the feeling you have to fight for your right to put a comma in a certain place. Funny.

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