I still remember the day I set foot in a typing class back in 8th grade. Part of that class was learning the rules of typography as they applied on a typewriter. Many people still follow those rules even when laying out type on a computer.
There are some things that still drive me crazy. Typewriters needed two spaces after punctuation. Only one is required now on the computer. Italics didn’t exist, so underlines were used. Bold didn’t exist, so all capital letters were used. It is the latter that I want to talk about today.
Again, all capitals made sense when we didn’t have a bold font to add emphasis to a block of text. Certainly they can still be used in a logo or a short headline. But using all caps in a block of text makes it incredibly hard to read. The folks at Upper & Lower Case Magazine had a recently article on this. Part of their argument is that we use word shapes to help us read. Go ahead and read their post and look at the examples they present.
There is another use of all caps they mention briefly and that is in online communications. It is considered SHOUTING and really should be avoided. Yes, I’ll make one word in all caps if there is no way to make the text bold.
Whether you are communicating online or you are laying out text for a project, be mindful of using upper case (underlining, extra spaces, etc.) and you’ll find you get better responses (online) and a better looking project.