Generic House Standards

This guide is meant to be a reference of our standard procedures. Naturally, your specifications and manuscript typemarking will take precedence over our house style.

  • Letterspacing will not be used to justify lines or balance spreads.
  • Word spacing will be tight, with 1/12-em as a maximum.
  • We allow a maximum of 3 hyphens in a row and a maximum stack of 2 like-word repetition. We hyphenate after a minimum of 2 letters and carry over a minimum of 3 letters. We avoid hyphenating the last word of a paragraph and on a spread.
  • A paragraph's last line will be force-justified if it is a pica shy of full measure.
  • Punctuation will be set in the typeface immediately preceding it, except for specific punctuation occurring in pairs (quotation marks, parentheses).
  • Footnote callouts will be styled as superiors using lining figures and consistently sized throughout text and extract.
  • Old style figures will be used except for superiors, table bodies, and display.
  • En dashes will be used for inclusive numbers.
  • Fixed en spaces will be used to separate the number and period from the rest of the item in numbered lists, footnotes, and other numbered items.
  • We avoid hyphenating within the second part of a compound word and we attempt to limit double hyphenations.
  • Subheads that run longer than one line will be broken by meaning and with at least 2 words on each line whenever possible.
  • Webster's New Collegiate Dictionaryis used for spelling and hyphenation.
  • Chicago Manual of Styleis used as the reference for style.
  • Proof of second pages will be rerun as little as possible and the extent of reflow will be marked.
  • Tables will be upright whenever possible.
  • The maximum width of an upright table will be the text line length; the minimum width for such a table is 16 picas.
  • Table display type (number, title, column heads) will be set in 9/10, letterspaced 1 pt and centered. Half-point rules will separate column heads from title and from body.
  • Table body elements (data, stubs) will be set in 8/9 roman, sentence caps, with lining figures. Turnovers are indented 1 em. A half-point rule will separate the body from the notes.
  • Source, notes, and other table references will be set in 7/8 roman with old style figures, to the width of the table, and with 6 points space between items.
  • All column spacing will be visually equal.

  • Facing prose pages may differ in length from each other by up to 9 points, and all internal spacing will remain fixed.
  • Short pages due to subsequent heads will be minimized by running up to two prior spreads short.
  • Except in poetry, spreads may run up to 1 line short or long; those running over 6 pts long will not follow spreads running over 6 pts short, and vice versa.
  • A chapter-ending page will have a minimum of 5 lines (or 4 lines of text plus 2 or more lines of footnote). Where a chapter-ending page includes a footnote, the note will be positioned from last line of text (not at the bottom of the page).
  • A subhead or text break that falls at the top of the page will be lowered one text line. This does not apply to back matter or contents pages.
  • Extracts and lists that fall at the top of the page will not be be lowered.
  • A subhead that falls near the top of the page will be preceded by at least 112 lines; a subhead near the bottom of a page will be followed by at least 2 lines of text.
  • An extract at the bottom of a page may be followed by a single line of text if necessary, although 2 lines are preferred.
  • Normal space between text and footnotes is 2 pica b/b ± 4 pts. If there are footnotes on facing pages, the spaces above the footnotes on the spread will differ by less than 4 pts.
  • A footnote may be broken only if at least 2 lines appear on each page. The last line on the first page may not end with a period or a question mark, and the continuation rule will be 12 pt ¥ 5 picas, flush left.
  • No page will begin with a widow. A page may begin with a full-measure, line or with a short line that is followed by a list or an extract.
Tables and Figures
  • A table or figure will be placed as soon after its callout as possible, at the top of the text page within the text section in which it is called out. Placement before text callout is acceptable if the callout is on the same spread.
  • No table or figure will be placed on the first or last page of a chapter.
  • On facing pages, tables or figures of unequal depth are run top-and-bottom or bottom-and-top—not opposite each other.
  • No fewer than 5 lines of text will be placed on a page with tables or figures. A page without text will run with the top aligning with the top of the ascenders of the first line text and will not carry a running head.
  • When a table or figure runs to more than 1 page and less than 2 full pages, both pages will carry running heads and folios even though one page has no text.
  • When tables or figures run to 2 consecutive spreadswithout text, drop folios will be added to all pages in the sequence.
  • A broadside table or figure will be placed on a verso page if possible.
  • Broadsides will not show a folio unless there are more than 4 consecutive broadsides (2 spreads).
  • A table or figure will not be placed between text or between parts of an extract if avoidable.
  • Space from table or figure to legend is 9 points, and from legend or table to text is 2 picas b/b.
  • The last line of a flush-and-hang item running to 2 or more lines, e.g. a bibliography entry, will not be the first line on a page even though it runs all the way to the right margin.
  • The last page of an index or other double-column section should have at least 5 lines in each column. The 2 columns may differ in length by up to 1 line.

For further information, please email us, including your name, affiliation, and areas of interest, and we will get back to you quickly.

Generic Compositors
152 Starheim Road
Stamford, NY 12167
607 652-BOOK (2665)
815 346-5272 (fax)
email us

Copyright © 2001 Generic Compositors, a Division of Stonecrest Industries, Inc. 1/27/12 12:37 PM


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